Suicidal Thoughts: Tips to help those Suffering
In light of this week’s events and yesterday’s Suicide Prevention Day, I thought I would write a little bit about what you can do or say to support someone who is suicidal. It can be overwhelming if you haven’t dealt with something like it before, but can make such a difference to those struggling when someone reaches out - it can literally save their life.
Here are a few practical tips:
- Offer to help them connect with a crisis hotline or professional service - things like Lifeline Australia, MensLine and Beyond Blue.
- Ask them how it is they came to feel this way - listen with compassion and without judgement.
- Remember that talking with them will not increase the risk of them acting on their thoughts.
- Recognise that they see the world in a very distorted way and what these feelings are incredibly real to them.
- Hearing someone talk about suicide, no matter what stage they’re in can be very confronting. Remember that a suicidal person is very often frightened and confronted by their thoughts and feelings too, let them know you’re there to support them.
- Those experiencing suicidal thoughts often have a deep sense that their life is meaningless and that they’re a burden to those around them. You can help them combat these thoughts by talking about, or organising meaningful activities with them - something they’re interested in and that ‘lights them up’.
- After talking to someone who is suicidal, it’s essential to debrief yourself, make time to talk about how you’re feeling with someone you trust.
Overall, it’s important to try and connect with the part of a suicidal person that wants to live. Most often, that part of them is still in there; it just needs a little help getting out from under the darkness.
I have included the numbers for crisis support below, and please share this around if you think anyone you know can benefit.
Sending love and light to all.
MensLine: 1300 789 978
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636