Lizzie C If Someone Tells You They are Considering Suicide
How should somebody react if somebody reaches out and says they’re considering suicide? And if somebody tells you they’re considering suicide, the first thing to try to remember to do is to not panic. That scary to hear. It’s heavy to hear, and it’s normal to feel panic. I think being as honest as possible is also really good because people can sense how you’re feeling a lot of the time, and they’re going to be really in tune to how you’re reacting already.
I would say start with saying “thank you for sharing that with me and acknowledging, that it was a really vulnerable thing to do and say. I don’t know how to do this either, but we’ll figure it out together” or “this is a little bit scary, and I want to be there to support you while you work through it.” There’s nothing bad about acknowledging that you’re scared too. The power connection is really with the individual needs and what they’re asking for, and sometimes you can reach out and look for those next steps together.
I think understanding that suicide ideation is common is important for a couple of reasons. First off, if somebody reaches out to you, it’s helpful to know that this isn’t an isolated situation. This isn’t rare, and there are lots of resources that you can help that person get connected to for support. You don’t have to help navigate this alone just because it was shared with you.
Second, when you are struggling, it’s even more important to know or to trust that it is common because it feels so isolating. That isolation will go away a little bit at a time as you receive support and as you start to open up a and feel like you’re connected to individuals in the community who can help you through this.
Knowing that you’re not alone, knowing that a lot of people go through this is a really important thing.