In the next month or so our staff group will be involved in training. The first one will be a workshop on suicide intervention support. This is heavy material in an already heavy workplace. As anyone who has lost someone to suicide knows, one of the worst parts is the self-blame, guilt and wondering if there was anything you could have said or done to show them hope. I lost a friend to suicide about 19 years ago and I still think about the last couple of times we talked.
For support or information, there are phone numbers you can call:
B.C Suicide Line——–1-800-784-2433
B.C. Mental Health Info Line——1-800-310-6789
When talking with someone who is suicidal, remember the following;
- Listen-try not to be judgmental or appalled
- Talk-show a willingness to discuss it, be interested-you don’t have to do all the talking though.
- Ask questions-general-about their feelings, and specifically-“have you got a plan”?
- Don’t feel you have to psycho-analyze
- Do not put their feelings down, or make light of them.
- If risk seems imminent do not hang up or leave them alone.
- Suggest professional help, but if they don’t want ‘that kind of help’ then initiate it yourself.
This subject is hard for many people to handle, a lot of us ‘just don’t understand why someone would want to do that’. You may be trying to rationalize a mind that has lost its reasoning powers. When someone is in that much pain, they aren’t thinking the same as you. Don’t be harsh or critical, you don’t know what other people are dealing with. Take care of you, and if suicide is something that has crossed your mind, for whatever reason, please talk to someone.