What to do to help someone who thinks about suicide

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What to do to help someone who thinks about suicide

Post  counselor on Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:26 am

What to do to help someone who thinks about suicide


1) Do not talk, but listen!

In the face of someone who is feeling depressed or suicidal, our first reaction is to try to help him. We offer advice, we tell our experiences, we look for solutions. Instead we'd better shut up and listen. People who think of committing suicide do not want answers or solutions. They want to be able to express what they feel without fear nor anxiety. They want to be themselves.

Listening - really listening - is not easy. Must control the urge to say something - to make comments, to add something to the story of who you listen to, or offer advice. You have to pay attention not only to the facts that the person is telling us, but also to the feelings that lie behind them. You have to see things from the perspective of the person who hears and not ours.


2) What do they want people who feel suicidal?

- Someone who listens to them. Someone who takes the time to really listen. Who will not judge, do not give advice or opinions, but will give their undivided attention.
- Someone to trust. Someone who respects them and will not try to take control of the situation. Someone who considers everything that is in complete confidence.
- Someone to care. Someone who will make themselves available, that puts a person at ease and speak calmly. Someone who will reassure, accept and believe, someone who will say, "I care."

3) What you do not want people who feel suicidal?

- Being left alone. Rejection can make the problem ten times worse. Having someone to turn to makes all the difference. Simply listen.
- To be advised. Lectures do not help. Nor a suggestion to "cheer up" or easy assurances that "everything will be fine." Do not try to analyze, compare, generalize or criticize. Simply listen.
- Undergo an interview. Do not change the subject, do not show pity or condescension. Talking about feelings is difficult. People with suicidal thoughts will not come under pressure or on the defensive. Simply listen.
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