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Talking To A Loved One About Suicide

We know that suicide can be a scary topic to discuss. Oftentimes, people think that asking about suicide can “plant the seed.” This isn’t true. If you think someone is struggling, you must start the conversation. It’s vital to ask someone if they are struggling and thinking of hurting themselves. It may be scary, but you can save a life. Speak up and ask someone that’s struggling if they’re okay. The National Alliance on Mental Illness put out a guide about how to talk to someone about suicide. Take a look below for more information.

Ask the question

If you seriously think someone is considering suicide, you must be straightforward. It can be awkward to start a tough conversation like this one, but you can’t let it be awkward. Ask them how they’re doing and if they are considering suicide. You must ask the question. 

Know your resources

If the person responds that yes, they are thinking about suicide, you must know what to do next. You have to be aware of the resources that are out there for preventing suicide. If your community has programs, direct them to those programs. Give them lifelines and text lines. These tools can be the saving grace for someone struggling. 

Be okay with being uncomfortable

Everyone is probably going to feel a little bit uncomfortable when they are discussing suicide. That’s okay. There are intense emotions that go along with talking about suicide. It’s a serious conversation. Know that it’s okay to be uncomfortable. The more you talk about it, the more comfortable you will feel. Don’t let the awkwardness get in the way of saving someone’s life. 

Create a safe space

You don’t want to have this conversation in the middle of a crowded place. Interruptions should be avoided. Be respectful and choose a time and place that is safe and free from distractions. Show them that you are investing in the conversation and their well-being. 

Explain the symptoms

If there are specific signs you’ve noticed in your loved one, tell them what those things are that you have been concerned about. Show them that you are looking out for them and that you care. 

Be open-ended

Allow your loved one to share their thoughts and feelings about the situation, too. Give them time to talk. If they’re struggling with starting to talk, ask them open-ended questions to get the conversation going. 

Be an active listener

Be involved in what your loved one is saying. Don’t minimize what they are feeling. Just be a kind, listening ear for the person you love. It makes all the difference. 

Villa Tranquil Recovery is here for you. Call us now at 214-799-3080 for more information about the programs we offer. We can’t wait to hear from you.