3 Real Ways to Help Someone Who is Suicidal
Every single person has what it takes to help someone who is thinking of suicide. Take the time to become aware, educate yourself and save lives. If you believe someone you meet is having suicidal thoughts, ASK THEM.
Connect with a person thinking of suicide.
CONNECT WITH THE PAIN.
Pain is the ultimate cause of suicidal ideation, we want the pain to stop, it could be physical pain, emotional pain, or mental pain, whatever the source, the pain hurts. Often we conclude that death would end the pain.
Connecting with a person who is experiencing pain, and most importantly to connect to their pain, is to allow them to communicate the pain, to put the pain into words, and then to identify with their pain (Identify: associate closely with; regard as having strong links with.) Be with them and let them know that what they are experiencing is real, is significant, and that pain is agonizing.
To be with someone in their pain and allow them the right to experience it, has a truly powerful effect.
2. CONNECT TO THEIR LIFE.
Talk with them about their life, explore their past, their present and their future plans, look for elements that connect them to living, small glimmers of hope, for some cases this can be the most difficult, there are humans who don't feel they have much to "live for", but often in the time spent with you talking about their pain, they will share moments when something made them feel good, you might need to ask them questions pertaining to those moments, such as "share with me a time when you felt good, happy or proud." Listen for priceless information, people, pets, places or skills.
Compliment them, the ability to find within a conversation things that others are good at, look for it, and mention it. It could be their wit, humor, kindness to others, their wish for others to be happy, people need to hear that who they are and what they do matters. Connect them to what it means to be alive.
Connect them to living their life, remind them of their value (they matter), offer them a reason to have hope.
3. CONNECT THEM TO SAFTEY.
Ask them how they will stay safe right now, allow them to process with you, offer idea's if they don't have the mental strength to seek on their own, (Hospital, Medical Professional, Family or Friends, Self Care-shower, eating/drinking, nature, arts). Let them make a plan to stay safe, and be there to support that plan. The commitment will be their own, and it will be important for them to play the part in their own safety plan, they must choose for themselves to stay safe. (If they are unable to play that part, if they tell you they plan to complete suicide, IT IS OKAY to seek outside help, to call the local law enforcement agency and request a welfare check, sometimes a person needs carried until they can walk on their own.)
Connection is an answer to helping someone who is thinking of suicide, there is a basic human need to feel connected and to belong. If we all work together to pay attention to the pain in peoples lives and to ask the difficult question "Are you thinking of suicide? Spending the time to connect to the pain, to the significance of living and to the safety, we will all help in the mental health of our fellow human beings.
If you are thinking of suicide right now, connect, reach out to one of the many resources available, the people answering the calls and text care and will connect with you. https://www.safefornowblog.com/need-help
May we all connect to humanity, and know we belong.
*Disclaimer - This blog is not intended to be a replacement for medical or mental health treatment.