We have been sharing the importance of Suicide Prevention Month and many have asked, “What can I do?” or “How can I help?”
So I ask YOU, would you know how to respond if someone reported they were struggling with suicidal ideation (thoughts)? If not, here are some pointers!
When someone is at risk (experiencing any of the symptoms from our previous post), or reports they are experiencing a mental health crisis, there are many ways to offer support! They all come back to the number one most important reminder: LISTEN!!!!
Having an honest conversation can save a life! In fact, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers the following tips for addressing those at risk:
- Talk to them in private.
- Listen to their story.
- Tell them you care about them.
- Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide.
- Encourage them to contact their doctor or a local emergency department for further assessment.
- Remain calm and supportive.
- Debate the value of life.
- Minimize their problem.
- Give advice.
- Make it about you.
- Respond with anger.
- Use guilt as a motivator.
ABOVE ALL!!!! Be sure to honor AND RECOGNIZE their strength and honesty by being there, offering support, validating their feelings, and LISTENING.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local police department, or any of the following supports:
Owens Counseling: 847-854-4333
National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
TEXT: “HELLO” to 741-741
McHenry County Crisis Line: 800-892-8900
DuPage County Crisis Line: 630-627-1700
Elgin Community Crisis Center: 847-697-2380
Kane County: 630-482-9696
Trevor Helpline: 866-488-7386 (Crisis Prevention for Gay Youth)
For those in Cook County, follow this link for resources specific to your location: https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/courts/civil-services/social-services/mental-health-crisis-intervention/