Your friend just admitted to you that he/she has thoughts of suicide. What do you do?
With numerous news reports of depressed mothers who have harmed themselves and/or their own children, what would your actions be if your friend or family member openly admitted these thoughts to you? How do you help someone help themselves?
I've had a similar situation with a friend of mine, she got kicked out of her moms house and was on the verge of ending it because of various problems. I let her stay at my place for a few months and made sure my cats and my girlfriend from back then would keep her company. She recovered from the worse depression and was willing to get counceling later on.
Glad to say that she's now happily married with two beautiful little girls and that she actually hasnt ended her treatment which is really positive.
It's a good sign if a depressed person shares their thoughts of self harm or suicide. It usually means that person has some fear of the thoughts. That means hope.
I would encourage her to keep talking about how she feels. Thoughts of suicide should never be taken lightly as it isn't always planned and can be an impulsive action. I would encourage my friend to share her feelings with a medical professional and tell her that I would always be around to support as much as I am able.
Daxman and meloncauli have great answers.
If your friend is talking, be very glad. Keep the dialogue open. The best thing you can do is let them talk. I am happy to say I have had friends talk to me about their feelings of suicide and follow up years later telling me if I had not been there for them, they would not be here now. What amazing thing did I say? Nothing. I was there, I let them talk, and I was clear that I was interested. That is all. Often, all people need is for someone to express unconditional love and to clearly care.
The very fact that your friend told you is a cry for help.
Take the time and listen while she/he talks if they pause
ask what never why ask what. What can you/we do to
make things better? then take the neccessary steps to do so.
You may save his/her life.
A dear friend of mine committed suicide, and the guilt was horrible. I felt like I had missed some sign and should have been there for him. When I had another friend who openly admitted she was afraid she'd hurt herself, I marched her right to a mental health facility. They told me (right in front of her-what were they thinking) that they would release her to me if I took responsibility for her. While I felt she should have stayed, I took her home and told her I would be awake all night if she wanted to talk. I let her know that I would never abandon her and she wasn't being left alone until I felt she was okay. Between her own strength and the support of friends who wouldn't leave her alone, she made it through that awful time and is incredibly happy now. So, the short answer is don't leave that friend alone, and even if it makes him or her mad, make that friend get help. I'd rather have that friend mad at me and alive.
I was in this situation just a few weeks ago and as I have some knowledge of counselling and also going through something similar myself 10 years or so ago I told him to talk to me about it. Talking is a great healer for the person contemplating suicide however listening to what they have to say can sometimes be distressing. Often they need reassurance, they need someone to let them know they are loved and that you care about them and will be there for them when they need you.
Give them your support and if necessary direct them to counselling.
Feel relieved that they have already taken the first and it is a hard step by telling you about it. They want help and feel you are a good friend who can help them through.
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