Suicide can be a very taboo subject to talk about to someone who is exhibiting the symptoms of being suicidal. You could be scared that person will get mad at you or that by talking about suicide, that person will get motivated to act on their thoughts. By opening up the conversation of suicide, you have a better chance of aiding that person to find the resources they need to get help than by staying silent.
Remember that if you open a conversation about suicide, do not assume that person will go ahead and act on their thoughts. By not talking about it, you are making the subject taboo and giving off the feeling that it is an inappropriate subject to talk about. All not talking does is maintain the silence. Deep down, that person may want you to talk about it to show that you care because they are afraid to ask for help themselves. You can point out to that person things that have changed about them like withdrawing from activities they have normally enjoyed or frequently crying. This should open the door to a larger conversation without immediately jumping into the topic of suicide. This will show that you are not blind to your loved one’s behaviors and how concerned you are.
It helps for you to do some research on depression so you can know the warning signs firsthand and let your loved ones know that they are exhibiting signs that relate to that condition. Research the Suicide Prevention Lifeline to better understand depression and how to help in a time of crisis. You can give your loved one a list of resources that can help them like 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. You can also give that person the name and number of a particular therapist who is good at helping those with depression or those who are suicidal.
It is possible your loved one may back away when you mention these resources acting like they do not need them. If they decline, explore why they are refusing your help and define what these barriers are. Maybe that person is afraid of the stigma of suicide, do not want attention, or feel they are not in a position to afford therapy. The best thing you can do is offer resources and support. Talking can potentially save that person’s life.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us at 888 570 7154 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.