People arrive at suicide crisis for many reasons but, typically, it’s because they’re overwhelmed by a problem they may not be able to solve themselves. Stress becomes anxiety if left unchecked. Anxiety can lead to depression. Depression can lead to hopelessness that can lead to a person with thoughts of suicide. Left unchecked, an adverse experience such as bulling or loss of a friendship at school can be the tipping point. Without outside help, he or she could easily become overwhelmed with the situation and such situations can, and do, lead to thinking about suicide.
Another example of a person who may be in crisis is a person with a mental illness such as clinical depression. A person suffering from depression, particularly if they’re not in treatment, may be driven to suicidal feelings because of an illness they didn’t not ask for and cannot control. A person with clinical depression will likely need professional help to get them out of this crisis.
Let’s flip the perspective. When training is provide, often we don’t talk about is the perspective of the person with thoughts of suicide. To really know how to approach them, you need to understand their lens. Too often, a person whom is in a crisis state cannot see anything but their pain: physical and or emotional pain. Their perspective become myopic and colored with feelings of hopelessness. They cannot see the hands reaching out to help or the resources that is taped to the wall. This too often becomes frustrating for the friends and loved ones of the person at risk.
When approaching a person with thoughts of suicide, even for the 10th time, must be without judgement or opinion. Most people whom approach a loved one are NOT counselors and cannot fix them. What we can do is widen the lens in which the person see their world by offering hope in any positive manner. Once they can see a bigger picture, it is only then we can persuade them to get help. Often a person with suicidal thoughts, often believe they cannot be helped, so you may have to do more. Have resources near you so that you can offer “suggestions.”
If you are in crisis now, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- To chat online with a counsellor, click here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- For the hearing impaired, contact the Lifeline by TTY at: 1-800-799-4889