It is really scary when someone dear to you tell you that they want to die or they want to take their own life. And it can be quite challenging to cope with such information because you really can't tell if he or she is just joking or they are actually serious, or in some cases they are trying to seek some form of attention. But, no matter what the case may be, it's important to take these signs very seriously and always be watchful of such a person.
Last week, I started this journey of sharing posts that will better help people understand sucidal ideation, what normally trigger these thoughts in people? And this journey is as a result of an experience that took place recently with one of my clients, I talked to her the other day and she confirmed the young man has been buried now. Well, if you're wondering what I'm talking about, then you should read the first post here.
In today's post, I will be sharing some ways you can show support to a friend or anyone in particular that's having sucide thoughts. If someone opens up about their intention, the best help you can give to them is not to be judgemental, neither should you distance yourself from them. Such a person need all the support in the world they could get at that point in time. Sometimes, the person knowing there is someone there for them will give him or her a reason to want to continue living. Like I did mention, such information is not easy to cope with, but much wisdom is needed so you don't say or do anything that will make them lose all hope completely.
HOW CAN YOU HELP A FRIEND THAT IS FEELING SUICIDAL?
So many things can be done to show support to anyone going through this, some of the different ways to show support to a friend that is feeling suicidal are pointed out below.
Listen To Them
Before someone starts contemplating suicide, then they must have been carrying around a very huge burden, something they feel they can no longer handle. Offer to listen to them, let them share what's bothering them without you judging or making them feel less of themselves. This might just be what they need to help lift the load that they are carrying. Just offer a listening ear without being judgemental.
Speak Honestly From Your Heart
Your choice of words when you speak to someone who have suicidal thoughts matters a lot. But you must understand that, no response is right neither is any response wrong. You have to communicate truthfully from your heart, they should notice the love you have for them as they digest your words, just be concern about them and your words might just change their mind. Speak from your heart, show them you actually care. Speak truthfully but in the most caring way.
Stop Try To Solve The Problem
So many persons always feel they can fix everything. Maybe the situation does not even need fixing, probably all it need is just someone that will listen. Don't be too quick to offer solutions neither should you make the person feel less of his or herself. What you should be concerned with, is how big the person see the problem and how hurt they are. Offer your compassion to the person instead, show empathy for what they are going through without judging them. Stop trying to fix them by saying they should stop feeling the way they feel, they are allowed to feel the way they are feeling, let them feel it. But let them know that, no matter what they are feeling, with time, they will feel better. Just be concern about them.
Engage With Them, So They Can Keep Talking
The more someone talk about how they feel, it free them of so much that they have bottled inside for too long. Engage with them, so they can keep talking. This can help them reduce the burden they carry inside. The more you talk with them the lesser that thought of sucide becomes that's means they will no longer act on how they are feeling inside. Back in the day, there was this Indian movie, I can't recall the title though. It's about a young lady that wanted to take her life, so she called a hotline that happens to be the wrong number. But the young pick the call, and talk to the young lady all night, he succeeded in removing that thought from her mind. She felt safe once again, she felt loved. Engage them, let them keep talking about what's eating them up.
It is really taxing when trying to offer support to someone that is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Do everything in your power to provide the necessary support. Reach out to their family members so they can also show support. Always have emergency contacts set on speed dial just in case the person still go ahead to carry out the act. Also, this information is a lot to take in, you honestly can't do this on your own. You should meet with a counselor as well, because there is a huge chance the whole thing mightl affect you psychologically. You need someone to counsel you on how best to help your friend and also how you can stay in tact throughout the whole process. If your friend or loved one, still end up taking their life after everything, don't hate or blame yourself for not doing enough, you did your best, things did not just play well.
Life is beautiful, there is so much to live for, there is no need taking a life that you did not give. Stay alive today, because someone loves you. I HOPE WE ALL FIND SOLACE IN ALL WE DO.