8 Suicide Prevention Tips

In the majority of cases, people who are feeling suicidal are dealing with conditions that will pass in time if only they can get the help that they need. In the meantime, there is much that we as individuals can do to help these people. The following are some suicide prevention tips recommended by the non-profit organization Suicide Prevention Resource Center.


Don't Discount Their Feelings

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While you may think that their problems aren't serious enough to warrant suicide, what really matters is how serious they perceive them to be. If it feels important to them, then, in their mind, suicide may seem like a valid option. Listen to what they are saying without offering judgements.


Look at Suicide as a Cry for Help

When a person attempts suicide, this isn't necessarily a sign that they want to die. Instead, it's an indicator that they are in great emotional pain, but don't know how to deal with it. Suicide has started to look like their only option to escape a situation that they don't know how to handle. If they are still alive, however, they are desperately seeking an alternative to death and attempting suicide is their way of reaching out and saying that they need help.


Encourage Them to Get Help for Their Depression

Even though some people's suicides may sometimes seem to come out of the blue, it's quite likely that they had been depressed for a very long time. Getting prompt professional assistance at the first signs of depression is a very important step in preventing suicide. Working to take away the stigma of depression and encouraging people who are hurting to get the help that they need right away can go a long way in saving lives because the problem is dealt with before it gets too bad.


Be a Good Listener

Being able to talk with a caring friend and unburden yourself from your troubles can go a long way in relieving the unbearable build up of pressure that can lead to a suicide attempt. Being a good listener doesn't require any special skills. Be patient and accepting, but avoid getting into an argument or trying to offer simplistic solutions. Simply be there and show that you care.


Don't Be Afraid to Ask About Their Suicidal Feelings

While you may be afraid to bring up the topic of suicide for fear of giving them ideas, the fact is that those thoughts and feelings are there regardless of what you might say. What you are really doing by bringing the topic up is giving them an opportunity to open up to you and allow you help them.


If They Are in Danger, Don't Leave Them Alone

If they seem to be in danger of hurting themselves, do not leave them alone. Take steps to get them away from any means that they could use to hurt themselves, such as weapons or pills. Call 911 or another emergency number for assistance if need be or offer to transport them to the hospital.


Encourage Them to See a Mental Health Professional

It may take some patience and persistence, but urge them to make an appointment with a mental health professional. Once they have made the appointment, continue to maintain contact in order to encourage them to follow through with appointments and treatment plans.


Know That Secrets Can Kill

If the person asks you to not tell anyone, be aware that you may have to break your promise in order to help him. Having him alive but angry with you is preferable to keeping a promise that leads to him taking his life.

For a complete list of suicide prevention resources, view this list of organizations.

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