Society & Culture

How To Help And Support A Suicidal Person

Help & Support SuicidalNot all people who have suicidal tendencies ask for help, but that does not mean that help is not wanted. The majority of people who commit suicide do not want to end their lives — they just want to end the pain and hurt. In order to prevent suicides from taking place, it is important to recognize the warning signs and take them seriously. If you are aware of a friend or a family member who is contemplating suicide, you might be afraid of bringing up the topic. But speaking openly about the situation, the experiences that person is undergoing, and the feelings that he is experiencing can be of vital importance – it can help save his life.
Offer an empathetic and listening ear to the individual who is experiencing suicidal thoughts and let him know that he is loved, not alone and that you care. However, do not assume responsibility of ensuring that you are the only person who will bring back the individual to normal life. As much as possible, offer your wholehearted support and the available resources at hand to help the person bounce back, but remember, you cannot get better for him. At the end day, he has to make a personal pledge to healing and improvement.Help Suicidal
It is not easy to help a person who suicidal. Watching and being with a loved one who is going through suicidal thoughts can arouse a huge range of exhausting emotions such as despair and desperation. As much as you are assisting the suicidal person, also try to get a support group involved to not only help the person but also yourself be strong for the person.
Professional help goes a long way in getting the right care of assistance for the suicidal individual. Speak to a crisis line for further referrals and much-needed advice on how to help such individuals. Take the assistance of a mental health professional or seek a treatment facility for such cases and encourage the person to keep the appointments with the professional help for him to get better.
An individual contemplating suicide often does not believe that he can be helped, and hence you may have to be forthright in offering assistance. Being proactive is extremely critical when dealing with a suicidal individual, as vague statements such as; “call me if you need help” is not helpful in such cases. Do not wait for the person to return your calls or call you in case he is depressed, as he is not be likely to do so. Instead, keep dropping by at his house or invite him outside for social activities or recreation.
Introduce fresh lifestyle changes into his daily life and encourage social activities as much as possible to make the person feel refreshed and good about himself and the environment. Getting him to exercise, introducing a healthy diet, ensuring that he gets a good night’s sleep or even getting him out to walk for 30 minutes in the bright sunlight or go hiking into nature can promote well-being emotionally as well as physically. Physical activity not only helps in relieving stress but also releases endorphins thus helping to banish self-destructive thoughts.
Get rid of all means of suicide or harmful equipment such as prescription medication, sharp objects, guns etc. and any other things you might see in and around his area that may be of potential harm.
In your support towards the individual, help the person long after the immediate crisis has passed and continue your help and assistance over the long haul. Doing so can ensure that your loved one continues to persist on the recovery track and lead a full life.

About Manmohan Hebbar

I am the founder and director of and chief editor at

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