Know the signs if someone is contemplating suicide and what to do next.
Indications that someone could be thinking about taking their life
1. The person may talk about having no reasons to live, they may feel hopelessness and loss. Did you know that depression is the number one cause of suicide? Hopelessness and loss are common feelings that people experience when they’re suffering from depression. This article discusses depression and 5 factors that explain why people kill themselves.
2. The person may be tying up loose ends in life and seem like they are preparing for some sort of end.
3. You may learn that the person is researching ways to commit suicide or they may even joke about it. Even if they are joking about it, take it seriously. Pay attention. Be a non-judgmental listener. Also, ask yourself, “is this person dealing with several stressful situations?”
How you can respond
1. Ask the question, “are you thinking about suicide?” This is a very difficult thing to ask someone, but it’s crucial. It may feel relieving to the person who is suffering to have someone want to talk about suicide. You can begin having the conversation by gently pointing out the person’s behavior by saying something like, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been dealing with numerous difficult events and sometimes when people are going through so much, they’re thinking about suicide. Are you thinking about suicide?”
2. Keep them safe by listening. Listen to their story, listening can be powerful. Be non-judgmental and warm towards this person, whom you care about. Let them know that you care and that you are there to support them in taking steps towards getting help. During this conversation, it’s important to ask if they have already done something to harm themselves or if they have a plan to harm themselves. If their plan is already moving forward, then call emergency services, 911.
3. Find help. Let the person know that they’re not alone, many people have reached the same low in their life and have been able to return to live a meaningful life. Also, let them know that people care and can help, and that it takes courage to reach out for help. You are there to help and so are behavioral health professionals.
If you or someone you love are in crisis or are struggling and contemplating suicide, people are available to help you. Call or text 988, or use the chat at the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
Article resource: Mental Health America