How Can I Talk To A Loved One about Suicide?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

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Note: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Your life matters.

Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the symptoms and taking them very seriously. Too many times, we see the warning signs but overlook them – thinking that somebody else is helping our loved one, that we are inaccurate about our assumptions, or that we can’t make that much of a difference in our loved one’s life. If you suspect that your loved one is having suicidal thoughts, it’s time to speak up. Act now. Provide support. Share the love. Doing this could save your loved one’s life.

First, you may want to let your loved one know that you’ve noticed signs that something is wrong or that they’ve been acting differently; then, you will want to ask your loved one questions to understand what they are going through a little better. This may include asking questions such as:

  • “What have you been feeling lately”
  • “When did this start for you?”
  • “Have you thought about seeking help?”

You want to be yourself, but don’t be judgmental and provide reassurance when it’s needed. As the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states, suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States – making this topic more important than ever. Don’t be afraid to express your concern for your loved one. This is going to be more important than choosing the “right” words to say. Additionally, never attempt to argue with your loved one or tell them that how they are feeling is “wrong” or “selfish”. This could make them feel even worse and, as their loved one, you want to be a person of solid support.

One individual shared their story on the main website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is an excerpt from their story,

“Your loved one knows you cannot wave a magic wand and make it all go away, although they know you desperately wish you could. What matters most is that you simply walk with them through this valley, and that you never, never, never give up.”

Don’t have regrets. Talk to your loved one today about what they’re going through. You’ll be glad you did.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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