You may think that it is impossible to know when someone is thinking about committing suicide. It may be hard if that person appears happy and you cannot see any signs of depression. However, if you have a feeling that someone is suicidal, never leave that person alone. Also, do everything in your power to make sure that they do not take their own life.
Help Prevent Suicide of a Friend or Loved One
When it comes to preventing suicide, it’s important to look for the signs. That person may be talking about killing or harming themselves. They may write in their notebook about death or talk about dying. Maybe you see them trying to find weapons like guns, drugs, or razor blades. That person can talk about feeling helpless, hopeless, and trapped and that things are never going to get better or change. That person could also be making preparations by:
- Writing up a will
- Giving away their favorite possessions
- Making funeral arrangements.
There are other signs that someone is thinking about committing suicide. Maybe they have said goodbye to you as if they will never see you again. They can also involve themselves in risky situations like doing drugs or rebellious behavior because they do not care what happens to them. If you notice any of these signs, do not ignore them, as you may regret it if that person succeeds in taking their life.
Steps to Prevent Them From Committing Suicide
The first thing you should do is talk to that person. Just because you bring up suicide does not mean that the person will kill themselves. You should ask that person if they have had thoughts of suicide. You can let that person know that you are feeling concerned about them. Tell them that you have noticed differences in their behavior and feel they are not acting like themselves. Try not to make them feel guilty for feeling the way they do. Your friend cannot help the way they feel, and guilt will not make that person feel better.
You should also never promise that you will not tell anyone they are suicidal. Thoughts of committing suicide should never be kept a secret. Always tell someone, whether it is a professional or a family member, about the actions your friend plans to commit. Do not blame yourself for your friend’s unhappiness, as a person’s happiness is not your responsibility.
More Steps To Help Your Friend
If they tell you they are suicidal, ask them how long they have felt like this or if something specific happened to them. You may also ask about the best way to support them or ask if they have tried to get help. Let that person know they are not alone in their feelings and that there is always an opportunity for happiness.
Just one conversation makes a big difference and might remind them how much they want to live. It is best to be yourself, listen to what they say, be sympathetic, and take what they say seriously. Never assume that person is being dramatic as that belittles their feelings and makes them feel more alone. Always give that person hope that things will get better.
Seek Out Medical Treatment
Check to see if that person has a plan for their suicide. Check to see if they have the tools to commit suicide. Try to find out when they plan to do it and if they intend to go through it. Once you know all of this information, call a crisis center and the police. Remove any lethal weapons from their reach and never leave them alone. Encourage that person to see a professional or go to a treatment facility. Perhaps you can make an appointment for that person. You can even go to the appointment with your friend to ensure they go. After they go, ask how it went. A therapist might have tips for you as a friend to help your friend through this tough time.
Make sure that the person takes their medication. Moreover, please keep a close watch on any noticeable side effects that you should tell their therapist in case they may need to switch their medication. Continue to visit your friends, call them, and invite them out. Encourage that person to eat right, sleep well, take a walk outside for 30 minutes, and exercise.
Look For Triggers
You should especially check on that person when specific triggers appear. These triggers may be the anniversary of someone they have lost, if they are surrounded by alcohol and drug use and if they feel the most stressed. Give that person all of the tools. These tools may include contact numbers for a doctor or therapist, family, and friends to reach out to in case those thoughts come back.
Suicide should never have to feel like an option when things in life do not work out. Problems do not always stay problems, and it can take certain people in your life to find solutions. Do not pass off your friend’s issues because you are too afraid to handle them. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. If your friend has a problem that you cannot find a solution to, find others who can help such as a professional.
For more information, call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, which offers 24/7 free and confidential support for those in distress.
Get Treatment Today at Bayview Recovery
If your friend is struggling with depression or another mental illness that is contributing to their thoughts about committing suicide, call Bayview Recovery. We offer a variety of treatment options, including:
- Anxiety treatment
- Depression treatment
- Substance use treatment
- Bipolar disorder treatment
- Personality disorder treatment