The Shame of Suicide Ideation

Suicidal Thoughts

Helping Those Who Suffer From Suicidal Thoughts

  • Let them know that you care about them and that they aren’t alone
  • Empathize with them. Be aware you don’t know exactly how they feel. You could say something like, ‘I can’t imagine how painful this is for you, but I would like to try to understand’
  • Be non-judgmental by trying not to criticize or blame them
  • Repeat their words back to them in your own words. This shows that you are listening. Repeating information can also make sure that you have understood it properly
  • Ask about their reasons for living and dying and listen to their answers. Try to explore their reasons for living in more detail
  • Focus on people they care about, and who care about them. And who they might hurt by leaving them behind
  • Ask if they have felt like this before. If so, ask how their feelings changed last time
  • Reassure them that they won’t feel this way forever, and that intensity of feelings can reduce in time
  • Encourage them to focus on getting through the day rather than focusing on the future
  • Ask them if they have a plan for ending their life and what it is.
  • Encourage them to seek help with which they are comfortable. Such as help from a doctor or counselor, or support through a charity such as the Samaritans
  • Follow up any commitments that you agree to
  • Make sure someone is with them if they’re in immediate danger
  • To help them to get professional help
  • Get support for yourself. See the next section below for more information.
  • Are you thinking about suicide?
  • Are you having thoughts of ending your life?
  • Are you thinking about killing yourself?
  • Try and find a solution to their problems
  • Tell them to ‘cheer up,’ ‘pull themselves together’, ‘man up’ or ‘snap out of it’
  • Change the subject
  • Give them advice
  • Ask questions unrelated to how they’re feeling, to distract them
  • Tell them that they have no reason to feel like that
  • Tell them that they shouldn’t feel like that, or they’ll feel better soon
  • Downplay the seriousness of how they’re feeling
  • Compare their situation to someone’s whose seems worse
  • Tell them you know how they feel
  • Compare their feelings to your own personal experiences
  • Tell them that they should be grateful for having a good life
  • Tell them that are being silly
  • ‘small’ or insignificant,
  • stupid for feeling the way they do,
  • rejected,
  • unheard,
  • alone,
  • like ‘no one understands,’
  • guilty,
  • patronized,
  • criticized, or
  • analyzed.

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Stories about the struggles of a millennial trying to stay a float in our chaotic world.

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Brian Price

Brian Price

Stories about the struggles of a millennial trying to stay a float in our chaotic world.