Blog,  Health

How To Help A Suicidal Friend

This week a friend reached out to me to help her suicidal friend. It was heartbreaking to hear this woman’s palpable struggle with mental illness. I was then immediately concerned about how I could help.

I am not a mental health professional.

My only experience is my own. I can only explain my journey and what I’ve been through. Immediately, I called my cousin who is a counselor and a licensed clinical social worker.

She walked me through how I could be of help to this struggling woman with one important reminder: if she’s suicidal, nothing I can say is going to change her plans, but I can offer her some hope.

Help For a Suicidal Friend

  1. Hope. I’ve struggled. It’s something I will have to manage my whole life. I’ll be fine for a while, and then I’ll struggle again. Earlier this year I wrote a 4-part blog series about it. The good news is, I always make it through to the other side. You can make it too, but you need to seek help.
  2. Resources. Mental health professionals are out there and can get you the help you need. Nationally, you can contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline. You can call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or text CONNECT to 741741.If you live in the Indianapolis area: (downtown or south side) Adult and Child, (north side) Aspire Indiana, St. Vincent Stress Center, and Community North has a 24-hour crisis center.
  3. Information. Make sure the family knows. Stay in contact with your suicidal friend. If you think they are going to do something harmful, don’t hesitate to call 911. Better safe than sorry. The friend may be angry with you, but anger is better than dead.

My cousin also shared research exists proving suicide doesn’t end your pain. She said it’s widely accepted by all religions and atheists because we don’t know what happens in the afterlife. What a horrible way to live through eternity in constant pain because your soul is still suffering.