Suicide is preventable and we encourage you to learn more about the signs of depression and suicide. If you know someone who might be struggling with depression, we offer a few brief tips on what you can do: 1) Listen. Being there and really listening is invaluable. It shows you care and will take the time to be with them and not let them go through this alone. It is important to avoid any temptations to problem solve or offer solutions as the individual may not be able to hear that right now. 2) Don’t be afraid to ask the suicide question directly if you suspect someone may be contemplating this. Some people are worried that if they ask, “are you thinking about killing yourself?” or “have you had thoughts of ending your life?” that it will put the idea in the individual’s head and somehow lead them to do it. That is not true. Asking a person directly shows you are concerned and are not avoiding a potentially serious issue; it may even bring some relief for the individual that they can share this serious issue with someone else. 3) Encourage the depressed person to get professional help. Talking to a trained mental health professional is critical. If you are able, offer to help the individual make an appointment or go with them to the appointment. If you are unable, follow through to make sure they made the call and went to their appointment.
If you know someone who might be dealing with depression and suicide, or struggling yourself, do not hesitate to call us for an appointment. Additional resources include: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline-800.273.8255, National Suicide Hotline-800.799.4889 or http://www.afsp.org/