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Suicide and suicidal feelings – advice from Harmless

18th April 2017

With the age group of 10-29 years old accounting for 10% of suicides in the UK, it is more important than ever to safeguard young people from suicidal feelings. Which is why, here at Impero, we have partnered with Harmless to develop our keyword detection libraries available as part of our flagship product, Impero Education Pro.

This partnership helps to aid the safety of students living with suicidal thoughts, by detecting terms and keywords that may indicate suicidal thinking, such as those related to methods of suicide as shown in the below graphic reported by the Office of National Statistics . Not only has this user-led organisation helped to develop our keyword libraries with suicide-related content, but they also host regular events at our training suite, located in our UK head office. These events create great opportunities to promote awareness about sensitive topics and offer support for people experiencing suicidal feelings. In this guest blog Harmless offers advice for educators seeking to open up dialogue with at-risk students around the sensitive topic of suicide.


The stats


How can Harmless help?

Harmless  is a national voluntary organisation providing support to individuals who are living with suicidal thoughts, alongside their friends, families and professionals. The user-led organisation provides a vast majority of services, from training and support to consultancy and general information, helping individuals affected by distressing thoughts and urges to commit suicide.

If Impero helps identify that a student is potentially considering suicide or living with suicidal thoughts, then the following advice and tips provided by Harmless may help a concerned individual open up dialogue with a student around this sensitive issue, whether it be yourself, a colleague, an educator, family member or friend. Firstly what are the levels of suicide risk?

  • Low – Some suicidal thoughts. No suicide plan. Says they won’t complete suicide.
  • Moderate – Suicide thoughts. Vague plan that isn’t very lethal. Says they won’t complete suicide.
  • High – Suicidal thoughts. Specific plan that is highly lethal. Says they won’t complete suicide.
  • Severe – Suicidal thoughts. Specific plan that is highly lethal. Says they will complete suicide.


Talking to anyone about suicidal feelings and thoughts can be extremely difficult. If you are unsure if someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask.

A way to start a conversation:

  • I have been feeling concerned about you lately.

Questions you can ask:

  • How can I best support you right now?
  • When did you begin feeling like this?

What you can say that helps:

  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.

Any suspicions in this area should be taken seriously, but here are some key questions which could help assess the level of risk to specific individual:

  • Do you have a suicide plan?
  • Do you have what you need to carry out your plan?
  • Do you know when you would do it?
  • Do you intend to take your life?


For more information about safeguarding young people from suicide visit Harmless’ website.


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