In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, I wanted to share with you the National Alliance of Mental Health’s tips on preventing suicide. These tips are directed towards adults, but I want to acknowledge that teens are on the front line with their peers, and that they might be the first to notice concerning symptoms. If this is the case, they should confide in a responsible adult and ask for help.
“It can be frightening and intimidating when a loved one reveals or shows signs of suicidal thoughts. If you think your friend or family member will hurt herself or someone else, call 911 immediately. (Otherwise) There are a few ways to approach this situation.
Talk openly and honestly about suicide. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
If there are multiple people, have one person speak at a time
Ask what you can do to help
Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
If your loved one asks for something, provide it, as long as the request is safe and reasonable
Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills”
To read more about how you can help prevent suicide, visit: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers/Preventing-Suicide