People who receive support from caring friends and family and who have access to mental health services are less likely to act on their suicidal impulses than those who are socially isolated. So, If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide.
What should you do?
- When you’re talking to a suicidal person you want to be calm and make the person at ease as much as possible. Even if you find talking about suicide very difficult, it’s best not to act shocked when a person tries to talk to you about it.
- Remember these things when you talk to a suicidal person:
- Listen to the other person. Don’t be judgmental. Accept the suicidal person’s feelings.
- Don’t dare the person to do it.
- Reassure them, tell them that reaching out is the first step anyone can take to getting better, to getting further help.
- Do NOT be sworn to secrecy. You need to ensure professionals get involved so that the person can get long-term help for their suicidal feelings.
- If it gets more serious, or worse, get immediate help, they’ll be grateful you did so when they get better.
- Talk about a suicidal person’s feelings with open-ended questions. Some examples include:
- When did you begin feeling like this?
- Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
- How can I best support you right now?
- Have you thought about getting help?
What Shouldn’t you do?
- Don’t minimize or play down their situation – take it extremely seriously, always, when someone says they are feeling suicidal.
- Don’t say “It will get better” or “You’ll be all right” – it may be impossible for them to envisage that, in the midst of deep depression. It can often be more helpful to let them know you empathize with their situation, try saying “I can hear how extremely low/depressed/distressed Do not glorify suicide nor dwell significantly on suicide methods. you are feeling”.
- Don’t tell them it’s selfish to feel that way – a person who is feeling suicidal is in deep emotional pain. They are thinking in a way they would not think if they were well or if they were not highly distressed. They are not themselves at this point.
- Don’t say “Stay strong” – it implies feeling suicidal may be “weak”, but it is not about strength or weakness.
Every one of us has a limit to what we can endure, a suicidal crisis can happen to any one of us. It takes huge courage to say that you are feeling suicidal and to seek help. We should be emphasizing that