I know that depression and suicide are not topics most people want to discuss …. however, this could be the most important conversation of your life. Your words could save a life.
The main thing to keep in mind is that everyone wants to know that their life matters. Whether it is a friend, family member, acquaintance or even a stranger, you can make a difference.
When someone is in distress, reach out to them. Ask, “Are you okay….can I help you?”
If you know a person is contemplating suicide, TALK to them about it! Don’t pretend it isn’t happening. Stand in front of them, look into their eyes. Ask, “Is this something you are thinking about or something you are planning?” Their response will determine the level of urgency you are dealing with.
Let them know how hurt or devastated you would be if they took their life.
Tell them, “Your life matters to me!” AND list the reasons why they matter to you. If they are someone you are close to, take away access to anything (especially guns) they could use in the heat of the moment to take their life. Stay with them if possible to provide comfort through a difficult time.
While you can only change or heal yourself, you just might be the one who helps someone decide to live another day. It is up to each of us to be kind and considerate to one another. We are one family. Each life lost to suicide affects us all. You never know when your kindness and encouragement will save a life.