One of the hardest things to do is admit you have a problem. However, in a crucial situation like suicide, it could be the difference between life or death. How will a person ever be able to admit they have a problem if they are never asked about it in the first place? This isn’t something we can sweep under the rug.
That’s why our first step may be the most important – Ask. Why ask? It shows the person that you are open to talking about their problems, you are ready to acknowledge their pain alongside them, care, be supportive and also listen with a non-judgmental approach. Questions like “Have you felt yourself feeling more depressed lately?” or “Have you thought about hurting yourself?” can open the door for the kind of relationship they have been longing for. It’s important to take their answers seriously, be attentive, provide your feedback and help them determine what next steps need to be taken to move forward from this heavy burden.
Another important tactic when having a conversation with someone who needs help is listening. Make note of any potential reasons they may have mentioned for wanting to stay alive. If so, it’s really useful to bring those back up and focus on those important aspects to stabilize their state of mind.
Ask them about their behaviors as well. This could give you a good idea of how severe the situation is (even though even passive thoughts of suicide are in need of equal addressing). This could be anything from making jokes about suicide (I’d be better off dead, I’m going to jump off a cliff), no interaction with friends, giving away important possessions, saying final goodbyes or going as far as seeking out means to take action about how they are feeling (buying a gun, visiting dangerous locations, substances).
Underestimating the need for suicide prevention is disastrous.
We may think it will never happen to us or a friend or a relative, until you are wrong and not prepared. We need to take the time now to bring awareness to mental health. We are living in a troubled world, now more than ever. Sandhya Raman from Roll Call says that economic and social pressures due to COVID-19 have greatly affected the number of recent suicide rates. By creating a ‘come together’ mentality against these troubling times in our communities, we can help prevent a great deal of suffering and save more lives.
Don’t know how to help? There are plenty of ways to show your support to a friend who may be struggling.
- Call a friend to check up on them (yes, it means a lot!)
- Invite them over for a barbeque and game night
- Create a music playlist for someone when they need a pick-me-up
- Remind them of some funny or happy memories you share together
Anything that shows them you are happy and thankful they are in your life. It could mean all the difference to them!
The Wayne County Family Connection Collaborative would like to invite anyone in our community to be a part of our group. For more information, contact Lana Wright at 912-256-2150. Our meetings are held on the 4th Monday of each month. Our website is www.waynehelp.com and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health Task Force # for Wayne County:
Business Hours 9am-5pm: 912-530-8889
After Hours: 912-256-2150
If you see warning signs of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or 911.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to stay up to date on collaborative meetings and other events.