How to help the Suicidal
REMEMBER….All the time People are fighting SILENT BATTLES!!.
Having someone to talk to can make a difference. Majority who attempt suicide literally do something to let others know their intentions before they act.
These “warning signs” include personal behaviours, verbal and non-verbal communications. Mental and emotional illnesses such as depression and bi-polar disorders are often tied to suicidal feelings. People should take suicidal statements seriously.
People should get involved and use “active listening” by listening to what the person is saying; and show willingness to talk about their feelings about suicide. Let the person know that you really care and that depression can be treated. Endeavour to recognize the warning signs of depression and suicide risk.
Almost everyone thinks or has thought about suicide at some point in their life. By listening and observing the “warning signs” of suicide and asking direct questions, we demonstrate our willingness to talk about anything with the person in crisis, including their feelings about suicide.
It can be great relief to the person if their suicidal feelings can be brought out into the open and discussed freely WITHOUT shock or disapproval; it shows that you are taking the person seriously.
A person who is high risk for suicide should not be left alone.
Remember, many of the warning signs for suicide could also indicate problems with drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, depression or another mental illness, which need SERIOUS psychotherapeutic interventions.
Author: Kasonde Malenga (Senior Superintendent at Correctional Service Headquarters under the Extension Services Directorate)