Hotlines and support
Here you will find contact information for various hotlines, organizations and associations in Sweden for those who need help and support.
The hotline is staffed by nurses. You can speak Swedish or English.
Phone number: 0771-22 00 60, Everyday between 13-22 (1pm - 10pm)
You can call in Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Swedish and English.
Phone number: 0200–77 88 20, weekdays between 15-18 (3pm - 6pm)
You can speak Finnish
Phone number: 020-26 25 00, Everyday between 21-24 (9pm - 12pm)
Chat weekdays between 18-22 (6pm - 10pm) and during weekends between 14-18 (2pm - 6pm)
Where to call in case of emergency?
112 (for emergencies)
114 14 (for non-emergency incidents)
113 13 (for information about none acute accidents and emergencies)
What can you do to help?
Most people, who have suicidal thoughts, will manage to get through that crisis. Help and support from family and friends, as well as professionals, is often an important part. Below you will find some advice regarding what you can do if someone close to you is having suicidal thoughts.
1. Act now
You can save someone’s life by reaching out a helping hand. Don't assume that it gets better without help, or that the person will seek help on their own.
2. Be aware of your own reactions
A common reaction is fear or an impulse to ignore the situation and hope that it will pass on its own. If you react, it can also be beneficial to get help from someone you trust, to give you the strength you may need to act as a support person. Otherwise, you may find that you search for a quick solution to help this person feel better, simply in order to make it easier for yourself.
3. Be accessible
Spend time together with the suicidal person and show compassion without being judgemental, angry or upset. Ask the person to talk – and listen carefully. Some issues may feel easier to handle once you’ve put something into words.
4. Ask about suicide
The only way to find out if someone is thinking of suicide is to ask. It may feel difficult, but by asking you’re showing that you have noticed something isn’t right and that you are willing to listen. Talking about suicide won’t poke the bear, so to speak; instead, it encourages people to talk about their feelings which can often be cathartic. By talking to the person about what is going on and how they are feeling, you can then advocate for that person and help them seek the assistance they need. Be mindful that you should not make agreements to keep someone’s suicidal thoughts a secret.
5. Safety and security check
If someone intends to take their life, it is important to know how, to what extent, and for how long these thoughts have existed. For example, you can ask the following questions:
- Have you figured out how and when to commit suicide?
- Do you have access to means or are you planning to get means to carry out your plan?
- What help do you have to feel better and safer?
Also ask how you can help that person to find support, joy in life, and empowerment from their family, friends, pets, religious beliefs, and own inner strength etc.
6. Decide on what you should do and how you, together, will solve the current situation
When you've figured out how the situation stands regarding the persons safety, it is then time to discuss the next step together. You may need assistance from others to encourage the person to obtain professional help - or to take the first step in seeking help from, for example, a partner, parents or close friends.
Mental health first aid:
- Approach, asses and assist with any crisis
- Listen in a non-judgemental way
- Give support and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage other supports
7. Here you can find help and support
- Health care centres or other doctor’s offices
- Psychiatric centres
- Staff at school; teacher, school nurse, counselor, school psychologist, leisure staff
- Youth clinics
- Priest, deacon
You can help the person prepare for the conversation once they have decided to talk to someone, even offer to go with them. After the call or meeting, you must check that the question of suicide was raised and ask what kind of help was offered. Assist the person to follow up on the recommendations given.
8. Convey hope – comfort – ask for a promise
Suicidal thoughts often return and when they do, it is important for the person in question to ask for help and tell someone about their feelings. Ask the person to ensure that they will seek help in the future. It will make them more likely to do so. Most importantly, show your commitment and your willingness to understand - convey hope.
If you are helping someone who has suicidal thoughts you also need to take care of yourself, as being a support person for someone who is suicidal, particularly if it’s for a long time, can take an emotional toll on you and be very stressful. In this situation, make sure that you also have someone to talk to, such as friends, family or a professional.
Suicidal thoughts do not disappear without the suicidal person experiencing any form of change in their life. The life situation, as well as feelings and thoughts about suicide, can change. The experience of support can help someone manage their suicidal thoughts. It is important that family, friends and other significant people remain actively involved in the situation. As mentioned, but important to reiterate, suicidal thoughts do not disappear by themselves. People need help getting rid of their suicidal thoughts. You can help!
Produced by: HFS – Region Stockholm Healthcare in collaboration with the Uppsala University Hospital, Västerbotten County Council and the County Council in Östergötland.
Updated by Zero suicide in Stockholm County. Fact-reviewed by Daniel Frydman, psychiatrist. March 2011.
Suicide preventive guidelines (WHO)
Since 1997 NASP is a WHO Lead Collaborating Centre of Mental Health Problems and Suicide Across Europe. WHO developed "Preventing Suicide: a resource series", a series of guidelines for different stakeholders.