One of the greatest things you can do for someone who is feeling suicidal is to listen to them when they express how they feel. Sometimes we can be too quick to dismiss suicidal thoughts but it's important to listen when someone is willing to discuss how they feel, no matter how negative the conversation feels.
If a person expresses their feelings of suicide don't lecture them about how much they have to live for in life. A person that is suicidal is feeling hopeless and desperate and cannot see past their current circumstances. You expressing why they shouldn't take their life isn't going to be effective.
Again someone who is suicidal feels hopeless and at the end of their rope. Remain positive and offer them hope that there is help available to get them through this difficult time.
Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up
If you feel as if a someone you care about is suicidal, don't be afraid to speak up about it. You won't be pushing someone towards the option of suicide just by talking about it. Being willing to discuss the topic allows for the person to understand that you care about them and their safety. It may result in them talking to you about what is going on with them which can in turn offer them hope.
There are many resources available for people who are suicidal. Hotlines, websites, mental health professionals and treatment centers are all equipped with experts who are able to best handle the situation. Below are a few resources:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Someone is always available 24/7
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
TheTrevor Project: providing crisis intervention to LGBTQ young people
This topic of the week post was written by Alanna Gardner, MFT