Help for Someone You Are Worried About – or for Yourself

If you are concerned that someone you know is at risk of self harm or suicide then you should contact their GP immediately.  

Out with hours services are contactable via NHS 24 on 111.

If there is an immediate threat to life contact 999 or take the person to A&E.

If there is no immediate threat, help is available at:

  • Samaritans – 116 123 (24 hours)
  • Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87 (6pm – 2am Weekdays, 24 hours Sat and Sun)

If the person has expressed a wish to die then take it seriously, always. Get the person to talk to you about why they wish to die. Do not offer advice, or try to fix the problem. Just listen and encourage them to get professional help from the list above.

For more help on how to approach a person who may be suicidal, you can download ‘The Art of Conversation’ from the NHS Health Scotland website.

Training on Suicide Prevention and First Aid for Mental Health

Choose Life - East Lothian supports a range of projects as well as training on suicide prevention and mental health awareness. The training is aimed at, and is suitable for, anyone over 16 years of age in the community. You do not need to be a Mental Health Practitioner to gain, develop and use these skills


SafeTALK is a half day training programme which can be taken either as a standalone or a precursor for ASIST. 

It has an awareness and training focus, and teaches participants to recognise and engage people who might be having thoughts of suicide, and to connect them with other resources. As this training can be delivered in a half day, it is a flexible option for anyone wanting to develop suicide prevention skills but is about basic awareness raising.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

ASIST is a two day workshop involving experiential learning. It enhances caregivers' skills so that they can effectively intervene until either the immediate risk of suicide is reduced, or additional life-assistance resources can be found.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

MHFA teaches First Aid Skills to be given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained.

MHFA does not teach people to be therapists. However, it does teach people how to:

  • recognise the symptoms of mental health problems
  • provide initial help
  • guide a person towards appropriate professional help

The training is provided free to anyone who lives or works in East Lothian and each course is run a number of times throughout the year.

For more information on these courses please contact Brian at CHANGES Community Health Project by emailing [email protected] or calling 0131 653 1086 to register interest.

Further help and support for people with mental health problems

1st Response - Support to resolve your crisis