How To Be friends with someone who tried to take their own life.
If you're friends with someone who tried to take their own life, you have to be worried for them while not knowing what to do.As your friend moves forward from this difficult time, the best thing you can do is offer your support and care.It's important to be kind to your friend and to handle the situation with care.
Step 1: You should be available.
Being there to support a friend who attempted suicide is the best thing you can do.Hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to talk can help a friend move on.Let your friend know that you are available to spend time together.If your friend doesn't want to talk about the attempt, it's okay.They may feel numb or not be as open as they used to be.Don't let that stop you from spending time together.It's possible that your company is all they need.If your friend wants to talk about the suicide attempt, you should be there.If the attempt was recent, offer support by asking what you can do to help, and let them know that you are glad they are here.
Step 2: Understand.
It may be difficult for you to understand why your friend would want to die.You might have different feelings about the attempt such as anger, shame, or guilt.Being aware of your friend's circumstances will be the most helpful.Try to understand the immense pain that was behind the attempt, whether it be pain from depression, trauma, feelings of hopelessness, a recent loss or a feeling overwhelmed, illness, addiction or feeling isolated.Regardless of the cause, your friend is in emotional pain.You may not understand what was happening in a person's brain before a suicide attempt.If you care about your friend and the attempt happened recently, you can try to understand the pain they must have been in.
Step 3: Listen to what I have to say.
The best thing you can do for your friend is to sit back and listen.Give him or her the space to speak.Try not to interrupt or try to solve the problem.Try to remember that what your friend is experiencing is unique to them, and don't compare your situation to theirs.Remove distraction and give your friend your full attention.This will show your friend that you care.It's just as important to listen as it is to say the right thing.Don't try to understand why while listening.Focus on how your friend is feeling and what they need from you.Your friend may want to talk about the attempt all the time.As they process what happened, that's normal.Allow your friend to talk as much as they please.
Step 4: Offer assistance.
In small and big ways, you can offer to help your friend.Ask your friend what he needs the most.Donate your time to help.In order to avoid doing something they don't want or need, you may want to ask what they do not find helpful.If your friend is nervous about seeking therapy, you can offer to take them to the doctor's office.If your friend is overwhelmed by everything, you can offer to help him with homework, make dinner, watch his kids, or just do something to lighten the load.Helping with the smallest tasks can make a difference.Don't think that any task is too small for help.Taking your friend's mind off things is possible.They may be tired of talking about it.They can be taken out to dinner or the movies.
Step 5: There are resources to help your friend.
If your friend has recently attempted suicide and you think they're at risk for attempting suicide again, do your best to keep them safe.You should know who you can call for help.If your friend says they can't keep themselves safe, you might call the police.The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available in the U.S., as is the National Hopeline Network.You cannot do this on your own.It is important for your friend's family and other friends to help them stay away from the things that might add to their suicidal feelings.
Step 6: Ask your friend how to keep them safe.
If your friend is going to the hospital or seeing a therapist, they will have a safety plan.Ask your friend if you can help with the plan.If your friend doesn't have a safety plan, you can find a guide online to help them create one.Find out from your friend how to tell if they're depressed or overwhelmed.If you want to intervene, ask your friend how safe they feel and tell you what to look for.A sign that a person is getting into a dark place is if they don't get out of bed all day.You should call someone who can help.
Step 7: Help your friend move forward.
It's a good idea for your friend to see a therapist or mental health professional.Your friend can make small changes to improve their life if you help them.A friend shouldn't be making drastic changes, but you may suggest small things to do.If your friend was depressed because of a failed relationship, you can help them take their mind off of it by planning fun activities and helping them start dating.If your friend is unhappy because their career is at a dead end, you can help update their resume or talk about going back to school.
Step 8: Make sure you are not alone.
Don't think you're being selfish when you ask your friends, family, or mental health care professionals to support you and your friend.This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.If you start to feel overwhelmed, tell your friend that you need a break, some alone time, or time with other friends or family to take care of you.Inform your friend that you want to take this time to refuel and then come back once you're refreshed.Tell your friend what you're willing to do and not do.Let your friend know you'd be happy to have a weekly dinner with them, but that you won't keep warning signs a secret and you will get help to keep them safe.It's important that other trusted people know about the attempt.
Step 9: Hope is offered.
Make your friend feel good about the future.It can help protect against future attempts.Try to get your friend to talk about hope.Ask your friend how hope affects them.You could ask, "Who is the one person you would call to help you feel hopeful in this moment?"What do you mean by hope, such as sensations, pictures, music, colors, objects?How do you nurture your hope?What are some things that threaten your hope?Imagine a picture of hope.What do you see?Where do you turn when you feel like giving up?
Step 10: You should check in with your friend.
Let your friend know that you're thinking of them when you aren't together.Ask your friend how often they'd like you to check in on them.If your friend has a preferred way for you to check in, you can ask them.If you think your friend is a danger to themselves, you don't need to ask about suicide.If they need help, just ask how they're doing.
Step 11: There are warning signs.
Don't think that your friend will never attempt to take their life again because they tried once and failed.About 10% of people who attempt to kill themselves end up killing themselves.It doesn't mean that you should be watching your friend's every move, but you need to be extra careful when it comes to warning signs of suicide.If you notice that someone is talking about death in a way that is unusual for them, or that you are threatening to kill yourself, talk to someone and get help.I - Ideation - Substance Abuse P - Purposelessness A - Anxiety T - Trapped H - Hopelessness W - Anger R - Recklessness M - Mood change are warning signs.
Step 12: Don't lecture your friend about the attempt.
It's not a good idea to teach a friend what is morally right or wrong.Your friend is likely to feel ashamed, guilty, and hurt.It will not help you connect or maintain your relationship.You may feel guilty about your friend's attempt and want to know why they didn't ask for help.If the attempt was recent, questioning your friend won't be helpful.
Step 13: The suicide attempt should be acknowledged.
Don't pretend that the attempt never happened and hope that things go back to normal.Even if your friend doesn't mention it, you should not completely ignore it.Even if it doesn't come out right, try to say something nice.It's better to talk about it than not.Say that you are sorry for how terrible your friend has been, and ask if there is anything you can do to help.Tell your friend that you care about them.Nobody knows how to act in an uncomfortable situation when someone close to them has made an attempt on their life.
Step 14: Take the suicide attempt very seriously.
Many people think that a suicide attempt is just a way to get attention and that the person isn't really serious about taking their own life.A suicide attempt shows that there are complex underlying factors and emotional pain for your friend.Don't tell your friend that you think they did it to get attention.In doing so, you are making your friend feel unimportant in the process of making that life-changing decision.Being sensitive is important.You're not trying to understand the situation if you tell your friend that they did it to get attention.It won't help your friend move on from the attempt if you try to minimize his problems.
Step 15: Don't make your friend feel bad.
If you feel hurt or betrayed by your friend's attempt, you should not make them feel guilty.Your friend is probably guilty of worrying the people around them.Instead of saying, "Weren't you thinking of your family or friends?"Try to understand what your friend is going through.Your support and love is what your friend needs the most.
Step 16: Give your friend time.
There are no easy or quick ways to deal with a suicide attempt.You can't think that medicating your friend will make things better.Recovering from a suicide attempt and the thought process that leads to suicide are both difficult.It's important to make sure your friend gets the help they need, but don't minimize their problems by thinking that the solution is simple.It's tempting to heal your friend and make them feel better.Your friend has to deal with the pain.Supporting your friend is the best thing you can do.
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