People want to know their life matters. When someone is in distress, reach out to them. Ask them if they are alright and if there is any way you can help.
If you know a person is contemplating suicide, talk to them about it! Do not pretend it is not happening.
Stand in front of them, look into their eyes, and ask if suicide is something they are thinking about or planning. Their response will determine the level of urgency with which you need to act.
If someone is thinking about suicide:
- Let them know how hurt or devastated you would be if they took their life.
- Tell them that their life matters to you. List the reasons why they matter to you.
- Provide comfort and emotional support for them.
- If you cannot be with them, arrange for them to spend time with a friend/loved one.
If they are planning their suicide:
- Let them know how hurt or devastated you would be and let them know that their life matters to you.
- It is time to take appropriate actions which could include removing weapons, especially guns that are often used in the heat of the moment to commit suicide.
- Ask them how they plan to commit suicide and then remove the things they plan to use.
- You may want to plan a family/friend intervention, with each person playing a supportive role in helping your loved one get through their upset.
- Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline or therapist for additional help.
We are one family. Each life lost to suicide affects us all. You never know when your kindness and encouragement will save a life.