How to Help a Loved One who is Suicidal

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How to Help a Loved One who is Suicidal

If your loved one has disclosed to you that they are thinking of suicide, your first reaction may be to solve the problem. The issue of suicide is complex, but treatable. The best things that you can give your loved one are support and encourage them to seek help.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 365 times a year 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis counselors are available to talk to your loved one any time of day to get them through the initial crisis. Even after the call, your loved one still needs support. There are also text and chat lines available for those in crisis. The Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting HOME to 741741. The Lifeline Chat service can be reached by going to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

If your loved one is suicidal, telling them that you love them is positive. However, this may not be enough. At the core of suicidality is hopelessness, feeling like a burden to others, and feeling that people are better off without them. If you talk with them, try to be more specific than telling them that you love them. Consider talking with your loved one like this:

  •       You are worth so much
  •       You are a joy in my life, not a burden
  •       My life would be so empty without you
  •       Help me understand what you are feeling
  •       Tell me how I can help you
  •       Life would not be better without you, it would be worse
  •       There is hope
  •       Can you promise not to do this today, let’s talk first

Getting your loved one professional help is the next step. Just like there are inpatient recovery programs, there are also inpatient programs that can help people who are suicidal. Inpatient mental health programs are not how the media portrays them. Inpatient mental health programs first keep your loved one safe. These programs have doctors and therapists on staff to initiate medications, if needed. Therapists in these program teach coping skills, process grief and sadness, and can help your loved one learn that feelings are ever changing. How they feel today is not how they will feel tomorrow.

The Kimberly Center cares about your well-being. We understand that in the beginning recovery can seem overwhelming. The Kimberly Center can help you teach you tools to help you overcome cravings and have better mental wellness.  Call us now at 855-4-KCENTER to learn more about what treatment means for you.

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