How To Help Someone Struggling With Thoughts of Suicide
Posted by Collaborative Counseling
According to the CDC, more than 38,000 Americans commit suicide each year. While we often think of suicide in relation to teens or the younger population, middle-aged males make up the majority of suicides in the U.S.
Suicide can be the result of any number of issues that someone is facing. However, an estimated 90% of people who committed suicide were suffering from substance abuse issues or a mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD. Suicide can be the tragic answer that some turn to when they feel they have no other options.
Suicide can be difficult to prevent. However, if you are aware of the warning signs you may be able to help a person who is struggling. Some warning signs of suicide are:
- Talking about wanting to die
- Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Isolating from family and friends
- Loss of interest or withdrawing from activities
Keep in mind this is not a complete list of the warning signs of suicide. Therefore, if you suspect that someone you care about may be contemplating suicide, read on to find out what you can do to help them.
What to do if you suspect someone may be suicidal
- Be open to talking with them and listening to what they have to say.
- Try not to discredit their feelings or minimize their problems. Focus on validating them for how they feel.
- Let someone else know.
- If the person doesn’t seem to be in immediate danger: encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional or doctor.
- If the person seems to be in immediate danger: stay with them and contact a suicide prevention resource or accompany them to the emergency room or to mental health services.
Furthermore, if you or someone you know think they may be suffering from a mental illness, it is key to begin treatment as soon as possible. As a result, this can help to prevent the symptoms from worsening and lessen the likelihood of them resorting to suicide.
Resources For Suicide
Some additional resources that may be helpful for someone who is thinking about suicide or someone looking to help are:
Those who are suicidal often times will not reach out for help. Sometimes the simplest things like letting someone know that you are there for them can give them the hope they need to open up to someone and potentially save their life.