How to Help Your Friend Who is Suicidal

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It is never easy to deal with and overcome suicidal thoughts, but it is equally tough to hear your close ones say they want to die. 

In a society where asking for help or talking about personal issues is often looked down upon as attention-seeking behavior, one must remember that the person they are making fun of can be going through a tough time and needs some serious help. So what should one do if they feel like the life of their loved ones is in danger?

Always Look Out for Warning Signs

Look out for warning signs and take them seriously because sometimes it is the slight changes in their behavior that give a hint.

Talking About Depression and Suicide 

Saying things like My life sucks, why am I even alive? Or outright talking about wanting to commit suicide and saying they wish they were dead. It could be a direct sign that your friend needs help.

Acting aloof and indifferent

Do Not confuse this with your friends being introverted. But if they start to withdraw themselves from all sorts of social activities, even the ones they used to once enjoy, then it might be a good idea to try and talk it out with them.

Deactivating from Social Media Platforms

There could be many reasons why your friends went off from social media platforms, but if they do so out of the blue without any reason and reduce contact with their friends and family, it could be a problem.

Showing too many emotions

Acting overly happy or sad – if they laugh too much or get unhappy at the minor inconvenience, you might want to be on the lookout.

Confirm and Reassure

Even though their behavior does not show the warning signs mentioned above, you can never be too sure that they are mentally well. At times people tend to mask their real emotions and act as if they are completely okay. So, if you feel that your friends need help, always talk to them directly about it. Never hesitate to ask if they are having thoughts about suicide.

Always Listen

If your friend is suicidal or facing any issues, always be there for them – Listen to their rants, and show support. Tell them that you understand what they are going through and that you would be there to help. Never make them feel as if they are burdening you with their chatter, and if possible, try and meet them often.

Avoid Toxic Positivity

The last thing a person who is feeling low would want to hear is that their feelings are not valid and that they should not feel this way. Prevent forcing them to be happy or telling them that they must not feel sad about something. Avoid saying Don’t think about it or Oh, look at the bright side, Rather assure them that it will get better with time, but it does not mean that it is wrong to feel sad.

Encourage Them to Take Professional Help

You can only do so much to help a person who is in so much pain that they wish to end their lives. It is always better to encourage them to visit a Professional Therapist or Psychologist. You can offer to book appointments for them or even accompany them to the clinic.

If possible, get rid of Potentially Dangerous Items.

Make sure the person does not have access to items that they could use to hurt themselves – such as knives, blades, or even any medication that they could overdose.

Never Lie to Them

Do not make fake promises to them about keeping their suicidal thoughts a secret. Be supportive, but also make them understand that you care about them, and if the time comes, you will take the required measures if their life is in danger.

For Immediate Help

If your friend has made a suicide attempt

  • Call your local police station immediately.
  • Do not leave the person alone – keep talking to them.
  • If it is not possible for you to visit them, contact their family members or friends who are nearby.
  • ake the person to the nearest hospital.

If you think they are about to attempt suicide.

  • Keep talking to them and try and convince them to back off.
  • Make them call the Suicide Hotline Number. Or you do it for them.
  • Contact a Professional and take help from them.

Take All the Signs Seriously

It is never easy for someone to talk about their mental issues – be it depression, suicidal thoughts, or anything else. Try and be with them during these times as it could save their lives, literally. Always reassure and support them, and try and communicate with them as much as you can. Suicidal people tend to think that they are nothing but a burden on people. So, assure them that you are there for them and they are not bothering you with their talks. It is always better to encourage them to visit a Professional. Also, if your loved ones commit suicide despite all your efforts to help them, do not blame yourself for that. Always remember you tried your best and did everything you could do. Do not hesitate to seek help for yourself or join mental therapy or suicide prevention groups.

Written By – Sakshi Desai

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