Knowing how to help save suicidal people is a challenge many of us are ill-prepared for.
Being suicidal is an impulse that can make someone take his or her own life. This happens due to some depressed thoughts, uncontrollable circumstances or unrequited questions. In fact, many people commit suicide every day around the world. In the United States, there are more than a million suicide attempts every year. So, suicide is regarded as a public health issue that needs to be prevented. This suicidal act does not only involve someone taking their own lives, but it can affect the friends and family of the person.
If you know someone who has been attempting suicide in the past or recent days, you need to know how to handle them. You may even be worried about how you can prevent them from harmful situations and outcomes. Here are some useful ways to help you save a suicidal person and manage the consequences.
Help Save Suicidal People: A Step-By-Step Guide
Here are some potentially life-saving tips:
First of all, you should hold a belief that the thoughts of killing oneself are real. Then, never ignore when someone says that they want to kill themselves or end their lives. You can call emergency services to take note of the person. You can take them for initial assessment or at least notify their guardian/s to watch them all the time. Take away all kinds of harmful tools and objects from them. These include kitchen knives and scissors and sharp nails, poisonous liquids and washing agents or drugs.
Listen And Refer To Professional Help
Prevention is time sensitive for suicidal people. You need to be an active listener if someone approaches you or gives you warning signs. Try to listen as much as they allow you to, probe with caution to get to know if they have a plan or what motives they have behind it. You can take them to a professional for help or include them in social activities as much as possible.
Suicidal thoughts emerge from feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, and emotional pain. Any help that can diminish their loneliness and feelings of being unwanted will be helpful. Compliment and praise them, stay with them and spend some fun time together. You can invite them to join any volunteer social work as well. This will help them gain honor, happiness or peace of mind. What they lack in life is what they can rediscover in order to forget suicide.
Choose Your Words Wisely
During this period, the suicidal person might be very sensitive and can perceive any of your comments as offensive. This can compel them to start self-harming.
Phrases to avoid:
- Your life is worth living
- You’ll hurt me if you do this
- You are selfish
- You’re kidding, right?
- This is illegal
- You’ll be punished in the afterlife
- This is just a passing thought
The best way to deal effectively with them is to say “I understand” or “I see you are going through this at the moment”.
Finally, here is a list to check regarding what you have done or missed as a part of your duty; your deeds may save a precious life!
- Inform a family member or close one
- Provide an emergency call number
- Help others in taking away sharp objects
- Observe for 48 hours a suicidal person
- Share, communicate and show care
In the battle to help save suicidal people and aid those with thoughts of ending their life, that extra support can be crucial.
For greater insight into interacting with those suffering from the issues mentioned in the article or if you would like to chat with others that can offer insight on how to help save suicidal people, I highly recommend joining the app, Reachout.
Nazish Idrees is a young and active clinical psychologist (Silver Medalist in M.S. Clinical Psychology) with 2 years of experience in the field. She worked hard throughout her 18 years of education with a passion for serving humanity. She is also a marvelous researcher, teacher, and a writer. Currently doing clinical practice and conducting workshops to train Pakistani population to benefit their mental health while initiating to break the associated stigmas in culture.