We can all take action to prevent suicide. Suicide prevention is a team effort, and a little preparation can make a big difference to create a winning, life-saving team.
Being prepared may empower you to save a life. You can prepare by becoming familiar with the 5 steps taught by “bethe1to.” Planning ahead will help you know what to say and do if a crisis situation arises. Another suggestion is to add resources to your contact list on your phone. That way, if something comes up, you’ll have the resources that you need right at your fingertips. If a crisis situation arises, that is not the time for research, it is the time for action. Add these numbers to your phone contact list today:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
- Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor
Secrecy is the enemy
There are many reasons why people try to keep their pain a secret. Perhaps a person is trying to maintain a mask of strength or perfection. Perhaps they don’t want to risk being judged or condemned. Perhaps they don’t want to be a source for gossip. Perhaps they feel like they don’t have anyone they can trust. Perhaps they feel like no one will understand. Perhaps they feel like no one cares. Therefore, if you want to be the one who helps to save a life then you must be non-judgmental, trustworthy, and caring.
Asking a person a straightforward question, “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates that you’re ready to openly and honestly speak about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way. It can open the door to effective dialogue and assist in developing a plan for help.
Do not ever promise to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret. Remember that secrecy is the enemy. If someone asks you not to tell anyone, you might say something like, “I care about you too much to promise that, but I do promise that I will only share this information with people who can help. I will never spread gossip about you. Your name and your story are safe with me.”
I invite you to be the one who helps save a life. Prepare yourself by visiting the “bethe1to” website and becoming familiar with the 5 steps:
- be there,
- keep them safe,
- help them connect, and
- follow up.
Add the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line numbers to your cell phone contact list. Finally, work on becoming the kind of person that a person in trouble can turn to. Being a kind, open, authentic, non-judgmental, trustworthy, supportive, caring person can literally save lives.