Thoughts on World Suicide Prevention Day 2015.
I feel it is important to say that being there for someone who lives with suicidal thoughts and feelings isn’t all about talking them down from a bridge or asking how many pills they took, what they were and how long ago.
In a crisis, intervention, situation, yes. But for many people suicidal thoughts and feelings are an occasional or an ongoing reality and if we care for them we can support with the hope and intention of helping them keep from ever getting to the bridge parapet or downing the pills.
If you don't know how to approach your friend or colleague or family member, give it a go anyway. If you don’t know what to say, say something, from a place of care and heart, not from a place of judgement or anger. Ask how you can help. Or just be quiet and be there.
Most of all, be yourself. The best yourself you can be. Because in that moment, your needs are not the issue. Your friend, your colleague, your family member, the person you just met, deserves nothing less.
If you are interested in learning how to be there for someone living with mental health issues or feeling suicidal, check my experiences of the excellent Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) workshops.