How to Help a Suicidal Friend

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How to Help a Suicidal Friend

Suicide is no place for on-the-job training.

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So here is what you shouldn’t do, Don’t tell them to cheer up,

don’t tell them to snap out of it, don’t tell them it’s not as bad as they think it is. 

Anything like that can just reinforces their feelings of isolation in the world.

If they could cheer up by wanting to, don’t you think they’d have done that by now.

So Having a friend who you believe to be considering suicide is not to be taken lightly.

Being suicidal is a temporary state that appears as an answer to severe depression,

and the act of taking one’s own life is preventable when the correct measures are taken.

So here are things you must do. 

1.Observe Their Suicidal Thoughts. 

Observe if they are:

  • Frequent dwelling on a thought obsessively. 
  • Believing that there is no hope, and no way to end the pain other than taking their life.
  • Viewing life as meaningless, or out of control.
  • Feeling as though one’s brain is in a fog that makes concentration difficult. 
  • Feeling empty(void). 

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2.Recognize Their Suicidal Emotions Real Quick. 

Talk to them, don’t let them wallow. Most emotional changes accompany suicidal thought,

here are the warning signs. 

  • Feelings of alone even in the presence a million people. 
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, self-hatred, and the sense that no one cares.
  • Extreme mood swings. 
  • Becoming sad, withdrawn, tired, apathetic, anxious, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts.
  • NOTE: never leave them of your sight. 

3.Observe How They Talk. 

Someone who is thinking of committing suicide often say things like:

  • “Life isn’t worth living.”
  • “You (or another friend or family member) would be better off without me.”
  • “Don’t worry, I won’t be around to deal with that.”
  • “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.”
  • “I won’t be in your way much longer.”
  • “I just can’t deal with everything — what’s the point?”
  • “I won’t be a burden much longer.”
  • “There’s nothing I can do to change anything.”
  • “I’d be better off dead.”
  • “I feel like there is no way out.”
  • “I never should have been born”
  • I’M TIRED OF THIS LIFE. 

4.Recognize The Signs of Suicide Plannings. 

Let the person know that what they are feeling is something valid,

real and important so having a plan already in place can mean that a successful attempt could happen soon.

Watch for all of the following actions:

  • Tying up loose ends (i.e. saying goodbye to loved ones, giving away valuable belongings, arranging finances)
  • Making reckless or passive decisions about important things
  • Gathering the means to commit suicide, like pill bottles, medications, and all other harmful equipments. 

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5.Speak Straight Forward And Openly. 

Make sure they understand that you are taking their problem seriously.

That you are their supportive friend who wants to help.

Be as specific as possible to avoid sounding accusatory.

For example, instead of saying something like

“You always talk about how impossible everything is”,

try detailed observations like

“I have noticed in the past few months that things you used to enjoy,

like spending time with your kids, does not seem to improve your mood much.”

  • Openly embrace the topic as another way to show how much you care.
  • If you are direct about your concern, you will give off a sense of a justified sense of urgency.
  • It is a common myth that bringing up suicide will put the idea into a person’s mind. In fact, speaking openly about suicide can help your friend realize that there are other options available.
  • Stay on topic as best you can. Your friend might try to dismiss your concern by looking at you with confusion or making you feel silly for bringing it up. But, don’t be afraid to be persistent in your concern–especially in light of recognizing warning signs.
  • Don’t be a silly, understand that you can’t fully understand.

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6.Be attentive. 

If your friend is at high, immediate risk for suicide,

do not leave them alone until professional help arrives.

Make sure that you or someone else stays with them at all times.

7.Suggest therapy. 

Having regular sessions with a therapist about suicidal thoughts, feelings,

and what triggers them can help prevent suicide attempts in depressed individuals.

And, for those who have already attempted suicide,

talk therapy can reduce risks of subsequent attempts by up to 50%.

8.Make sure you’re coping, too. 

Playing a helping role in such a serious matter can be exhausting, stressful,

and also frustrating.

Make an effort to ensure that your own physical and emotional needs are being met.

Talking about your feelings to people you trust will help you process the situation

and understand your experience so you don’t stress things further.

9.Inform others on a need-to-know basis. 

Enlist the help of other important people in your friend’s life as well.

If others are aware of the problem they will be able to be sensitive and stay on the lookout for warning signs.

Make sure you only inform others of your friend’s risk for suicide if you think they are capable of helping out.

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10 lastly, Call a suicide hotline.

A suicidal person needs immediate assistance from qualified mental health professionals.

call 911, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-273-TALK to avoid the need for

you or other untrained individuals to act as the sole counselors to your friend as needs be.

I hope this article has strongly improve your thoughts on how to deal with issues like this. 

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Newton

Newton is a Nigerian blogger, video creator and also a crypto trader that is always aspiring GROWTH in knowledge and finance as well his blogging career...