Most importantly, don't freak out. Don't become someone they have to avoid because their pain triggers your pain and you freak out. Instead, remain calm, curious and empathic. Give advice only if it feels right to do so. Do what you can do, and then let go and let God. Lighten up so that they might lighten up.
Supporting suicidality can be very challenging, and this is often because we haven't yet come to terms with our own pain, or our own fear of death.
I have experience both supporting a roommate with suicidal urges, as well as my own depressions that came with suicidal urges. Here are my thoughts.
"Read stories of people who reversed their anxiety or depression. You'll see, very clearly, that there is a wide variety of pathways to wellness."
You know what's funny? I wrote this article thinking it was really just for healing anxiety and depression. Then, as I was editing, I realized that the tips below would probably help heal almost anything. It seems I write "zoomed-out" enough that my "tips" are more like Directions On The Path.
First, about me: I have suffered from anxiety and depression since I was a child. And over the last 20 years I have tried many things to heal that, read an endless slew of books, went to workshops and seminars and retreats... and eventually, I found some things that helped me. But mostly I also gained a lot of understanding about why anxiety and depression even happens to us, and helping people heal became my passion.