For the month of September, Mary is expanding her discussions on suicide awareness and prevention because of Suicide Awareness Week. In this four part series, she will work to give you the skills needed to talk with people that displaying symptoms of depression and suicide. Everybody has a role in suicide prevention- anyone can save a life. Take this moment of hope and share this information with others.
Last week Mary talked about the FACTS (Feelings, Actions, Changes, Threats, and Situations)– these are established symptoms of depression and, also, suicide. If you see these symptoms in a person, then it’s important to CARE (Connect, Ask, Refer, and Encourage). First you Connect meaning to listen, come from a place of concern, and let the person know that you are there and care. Be with them- let them know that they are seen and heard. The next part of CARE is Ask.
Some will shy away from part two of CARE, Ask. They think that merely asking if someone is suicidal will make them suicidal. But what we know is asking about suicide directly and clearly can save lives. It is an invitation to let the person in pain talk about their pain and thoughts of suicide. They are relieved. Your role is to listen. No advice and no plan needed- you just need to actively listen. When they’re talking to you then they are not obsessing about suicide. This is hard for everyone because suicide is a heavy topic. You will have to ask next the No Dodge Question; it is made of three parts. The question is yes or no, in present tense, and direct.
Are you thinking about suicide?
If the answer is anything but a sincere no– that person may be suicidal. If the person you’ve asked tries to keep it a secret between the two of you that’s a yes. Try to connect them with someone that has a professional, medical degree to help them. Watch this video from Mary to learn more, keep hope alive, and CARE.
National Suicide Prevention Line
Don’t wait until the end of this series to get help or help another. Call for help and resources.
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741.
Facebook Live, September 14, 2018