Ministering to the Suicidal – What to Do

Because 75-percent of all people who kill themselves give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member take all suicide threats — even jokes — or any attempt seriously.  If you believe someone may be suicidal:

  •  Be a willing listener, and really try to hear what’s troubling them
  • Take the initiative: Ask what is troubling the person talking about suicide and overcome his or her reluctance to talk. If someone seems depressed, don’t hesitate to ask whether he or she is considering suicide, or even if that person has a method in mind. Tell that person you care and that he or she is not alone. Assure that person that suicidal feelings are temporary, depression can be treated and problems can be solved. Do not say: ”You have so much to live for,” or ”Your suicide will hurt your family.”  — Seek professional help. Encourage the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately. Individuals contemplating suicide often don’t believe they can be helped, so you might have to be persistent.
  • In an acute crisis:  Take your friend or loved one to an emergency room or walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital. Do not leave him alone. If those options are unavailable, call your local emergency number —  or 911

Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Categories Stormy Issues | Tags: | Posted on February 28, 2010

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