Mental health support network for PWWP

Mental health illness support network for People working with people

What to do if you believe someone has taken a overdose?

In attempting suicide many people, particularly women, choose to take an overdose of prescribed or illegal drugs. The person may become unconscious; any unconscious person needs immediate medical attension. Consiouse people need monitoring as they may deteriorate in to unconsciousness .

Follow the steps below.

1.If the person is conscious:

  • Phone the nearest accident and emergency department for advice:
  • Do not give the person any food or fluid unless advised by a health professional:
  • Reassure the person that help has been sought and that you will stay with them:
  • Try to find what substances, if any, have been used. This information will assist the medical staff to give the most appropriate help:
  • Keep the person warm:

If you decide that there is no risk of suicide but nevertheless believe that the person is depressed, there are still important steps that you can take to help.

2. Listen non- judgementally:

  • Listen to the person with out judging them:
  • Remember that these problems are not due to weakness or laziness, the person is unwell and trying to cope:
  • Do not be critical:
  • Do nit exspress frustration with the person for having such symptoms:
  • Do not offer advice such as ‘ pull yourself together’ or ‘cheer up’:
  • Avoid confrontation unless necssary to prevent harmful or dangerous acts:
  • Listen:

3. Give reassurance and information:

Help the person to feel hope optimism and to realise that:

  • Depression is common diagnosis:
  • Depression is not a weakness or a character defect:
  • Effective treatments and support are available for depression:
  • Effective help is available through a GP: depression is not laziness-depression makes people feel hopeless useless:
  • Depression takes a while to develop and can take time to resolve, bit it will get better faster with appropriate help and support

4. Encourage the person to get appropriate help and support:

5. Encourage self-help strategies:

There is evidence for the effectiveness of a number of self-help techniques. As well as having proven therapeutic effects. Self-help strategies also help people feel that they are regaining control of their lives and doing something positive for themselves. Depression and bpolar disorders support groups can be useful source of mutual support and information.


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