WHEN SOMEONE THREATENS SUICIDE
A suicide threat is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. It should not be dismissed or treated lightly.
You can be helpful to an individual exhibiting suicidal tendencies by:
- being direct – talking openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- listening and accepting the person’s feelings.
- being non-judgemental – don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are “good” or bad.”
- being available – show interest and be involved in the person’s life.
- offering hope that alternatives are available – but don’t offer glib reassurance.
- taking action by removing means (such as guns or pills).
- getting help from people or agencies, such as Family Houston, that have expertise in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
This last step is perhaps the most important. Don’t be sworn to secrecy when a friend is threatening suicide. Reach out for help.