By Autumn Tindall
As September comes to an end, there are a few words I wanted to say about suicide prevention. It is important to bring awareness to suicide and ways to deal with thoughts of suicide. It can be hard to approach a loved on who may be in danger of harming themselves but this post will hopefully give you different ways you can help. If someone is suicidal, they may be feeling extreme sadness, anger, pain, and believe that these feelings will never end. It is important to remember that they will not last and there are steps you can take to stop from acting on your suicidal thoughts. Find what is best and works for you. Here are some tips people have found helpful when they are having suicidal thoughts.
- Take things minute by minute
- Distract yourself with coping techniques to prevent self-harm
- Examples: hold an ice cube in your hand until it melts and focus on how cold it feels or tear up something into hundreds of pieces
- Focus on your senses – what can you smell, touch, hear, and see around you
- Look after your needs
- Examples: get a glass of water, write down your feelings, eat something if you’re hungry
- Find your reasons to live
- Examples: write down what you’re looking forward to, make plans to do something you enjoy, think about people you love
- Be kind and tell yourself you can get through this
- Examples: repeat positive thoughts, talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend
It can be hard to focus on the good if the pain seems like it won’t go away. However, the tips listed above are ways you can help get through suicidal ideation. If you are feeling suicidal there is also a 24/7 hotline available, 988.
When someone tells you they may be in danger of harming themselves it can be difficult to know how to approach the situation. You may feel shocked, helpless, angry, or other difficult emotions.
If you notice a loved one is in danger of harming themselves it is important to try not to overreact or panic because it can reduce how much the person opens up to you about their self-harm. How you relate to them and your attitude towards them can help them feel supported.
- Try to be non-judgemental and don’t force them to change.
- Let them know that you are there for them. Remind them of the positive qualities they have and different things they do well.
- Relate to them as a whole person, not just their self-harm.
- Do not label their self-harm as “seeking attention.”
Being supportive when someone you know is self-harming can be difficult with its many ups and downs.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself and get support and help if you need it. It is important to have an honest conversation with your loved one and be aware when things are getting to be too much. This honesty may end up saving a life.
988 – National Suicide Prevention Line
402-475-6695 – Centerpointe Crisis Response Line (for Nebraskans)
911 – if they are in immediate danger
***Information obtained from Mind Infoline**