NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION WEEK

To Write Love On Her Arms has a great video and campaign this week #IWasMadeFor

Check out their video –

 

I was made for compassion and adventure. Please share what you were made for in the comments!

Because of my work as a crisis counselor, I get a lot of questions from friends who want to know what to do if a friend or family member is thinking of ending their life.  Today I’m going to give you the top three tips I gave them.

 

Be Direct

It’s okay to ask someone directly if they are thinking about ending their life. I know being direct like this can be difficult but it establishes that you’re someone who sees what’s going on and is willing to listen. Asking won’t put ideas in their head or make them think about ending their life when they weren’t going to.

Another helpful thing is to be honest about any help you’ve received when you went through a rough time, professional or otherwise. I went to therapy for years to deal with some difficult relationships in my life and I think it’s important to be direct about it to remove some of the stigma attached to getting help. We don’t fault people for going to the dentist to take care of themselves and we shouldn’t fault people who take care of their mental health!

 

Listen Without Judgement

“Finish your food because somewhere people are starving.” How many times have you heard something like this? You shouldn’t be unhappy because someone has it worse or whatever you feel isn’t that bad or you shouldn’t get that upset. You wouldn’t tell someone not to be happy because other people have it better. Bill Gates has a private plane and a mansion so therefore you will never be happy. Comparison doesn’t work and we all react to things differently.

The best thing I learned to do is repeat things back. Echo how they are feeling to show you understand. “That must be devastating that you didn’t get what you needed from that person.” “It is overwhelming to be dealing with all that.” Validate what you hear. Sometimes that’s enough. You don’t have to solve their problems, you just have to listen and be there.

 

Helpers Need Help Too

If you find yourself in a role of support for a friend or family member who is going through a difficult time, don’t forget about yourself. Supporters also need support. Reach out for your own kind of help, take some time for self care, recruit others or get professionals involved. No one is alone in this.

 

Overall I would say that you’re allowed to feel how you feel and you deserve help! You deserve to be happy and to show the world what you were made for!

I dream of the day where Suicide Prevention Week is a distant memory.

 

If you need help – twloha.com/iwasmadefor 

If you want to help – crisistextline.org/volunteer 

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