How To Talk To Someone Who’s Considering Suicide
Reaching out to someone considering suicide is never easy. Knowing what to say to someone contemplating ending their life can be difficult, and a desire to avoid saying the wrong thing can often result in action.
Making the effort to help a friend or loved one who is thinking about suicide is important however, as it can prevent an unnecessary death that can have a wide-rippling effect on people connected to the deceased, such as friends, co-workers and loved ones.
If you suspect someone you know is considering suicide, reaching out to them can be one of the most important things you do, as it may have the direct impact of saving a life and sparing others the guilt, loss and suffering that happens when a friend or loved one ends their own life.
If someone you know appears to be considering taking their own life, a simple, “Are you all right?” can help break the ice and get them started talking about their issues. This simple question helps demonstrate to the person that you care about their well-being, while also giving them an open invitation to discuss their problems.
More specific questions may be necessary as the discussion progresses, such as questions about the immediacy of the suicide threat, whether they have planned to end their life and their access to the means to do so.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Asking someone about an intent to end their own life will not push them to self harm and will likely encourage them to talk about their problems, thus reducing the chance that they will act upon any suicidal thoughts.
Lending your support and encouragement to a friend or loved one struggling with suicidal thoughts can be greatly helpful. Encouraging them to seek out counseling or the services of a mental health professional is important, but so are other means of encouragement, such as inviting them to social events and activities and staying in contact and calling to check on them.
Talking To Others
In some cases, just talking to the person isn’t enough, and you may need to talk to others. If a friend or loved one appears to be in immediate danger of suicide, you should contact police or public safety officials immediately. If you’re seeking to encourage someone having suicidal thoughts to seek counseling, talking to a mental health professional may help you find the right tools to successfully encourage your friend or loved one to seek help.
Lastly, caring for your own mental health is important, as helping someone overcome the dark thoughts and depression associated with suicide can also take a toll on you. Be sure to seek counseling and support if your work to help a friend or family member begins to impact your life in negative ways.
If you would like information about how to get help please go here to our resources page.