Reaching out can be frightening and awkward, but it is so important. You may be the one to help someone realize they aren’t alone and gets them through their crisis. Here are a few ways to start the conversation:
- Speak plainly and honestly. Don’t skirt the issue of suicide.
- Be calm and patient, and try not to be overly-emotional.
- Express empathy and concern.
Remove any means such as guns, knives, rope, or pills.
✗ Leave them alone.
✗ Argue or try to disprove anything they say.
✗ Tell them what they need to do, such as exercise or pray more, or “think happy thoughts.”
✗ Ignore the situation and think it will get better on its own.
✗ Say things like:
“Just snap out of it”
“Your life isn’t that bad”
“It could be worse”
Maybe you think your friend is considering suicide, but you really don’t know.
Sometimes the warning signs of suicide ideation are obvious-- like talking about suicide or saying goodbye to friends and famly. But often, they are more subtle.
❒ Watching movies or listening to music about suicide.
❒ Becoming more sentimental or talking about the past.
❒ Withdrawing from friends and not participating in normal activities.
❒ Increased partying or risk-taking behaviors.
❒ Behavior that pushes people away.
If someone you know starts to take any of these steps, it’s time to act!
Yes, it’s difficult and awkward to ask them if they are thinking about hurting themselves, and yes, you might be wrong.
However, the worst thing that could happen isn’t that you are wrong.
The worst thing that could happen is you do nothing... and they become one of the tragic statistics.
By joining the mission you will receive ideas on ways you can get involved along with weekly updates that will include ways you can help reduce levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide: