Be the One to Save a Life: You Can Do Something to Prevent Suicide
April 4, 2023
Whenever we lose a loved one or a friend, there are often thoughts or feelings left unexpressed. In the aftermath of any loss, there are questions left unanswered. Regrettably, and as difficult as it may be to accept, many of these questions will likely never be answered. One of the questions that many of us share is “How could I have missed it?” or “What could I have done differently to effect a different outcome?”
We should be clear; You don’t have to be a mental health professional to help someone in your life who may be struggling. You CAN do something to prevent suicide.
In an effort to provide all of us some direction, we offer the following in helping any person at risk.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available.
- Take action. Remove means, like weapons or pills.
If someone online is posting about wanting to die or kill themselves, feeling hopeless, trapped, like a burden to others, or seeking revenge, you can encourage them to call the Lifeline. You can also contact social media safety teams, who will reach out to connect the user with the help they need. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help if a friend is struggling.
Get immediate help from people and organizations specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Call the 24-hour Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help if a friend is struggling.
You can also contact our AFA EAP representatives at 800-424-2406.