SMART LIVING: Friends to the rescue - 5 things you should do for a suicidal friend

Health experts say 1.4 million people attempt suicide every year and one in five people who die by suicide express their intent.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 3:55 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 3:08 PM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - National Suicide Prevention Week begins on Sunday, September 4th.

Health experts say 1.4 million people attempt suicide every year and one in five people who die by suicide express their intent. So, what can you do and what should you say to a loved one who may be considering suicide?

A friend withdraws or seems overwhelmingly sad. Maybe they’re drinking more, using drugs, or engaging in risky behavior. They are signs that someone may be struggling with dark thoughts. It’s unsettling to think about and scary to bring up.

“We need to talk about mental health, we need to talk about suicide,” stated Scott Poland of the Suicide and Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University.

Health experts say talking about suicide is critical, especially if a friend is making comments about being helpless, hopeless, worthless, or saying things like life would be better without them.

“Making statements about death, dying and suicide are definite warning signs,” said Poland.

Here are five things you can do. The first thing is to ask someone you’re worried about if they’re thinking about suicide. People may be hesitant to ask but research shows it’s helpful. Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal means. Be there with them and listen to what they need. Help them connect with support and stay in touch and follow up with them.

“All you have to do is know the facts, know the signs and react,” said Jackie Rosen of the Florida Initiative of Suicide Prevention.

For a quick connection to help, the new national suicide prevention hotline is now just three digits - 988 will get you connected.

Sources:

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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