When It’s Time to Refer:
Suicide Prevention (3/4)

During the month of September (and a little into October), Mary expands her discussions on suicide awareness and prevention because of Suicide Awareness Week. In this four part series, she works to give you the skills needed to talk with people that are 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.

For the last few weeks Mary talks about the FACTS and how very important it is to CARE (Connect, Ask, Refer, and Encourage). If you haven’t had a chance to watch and learn more from the previous two suicide prevention Facebook Morning Live videos- we encourage you to when you have a chance. In this Friday Morning Live video, Mary discusses the next step in CARE: Refer.

Refer (Part 3/4)

You don’t have to do suicide prevention alone, and it’s not something that is recommended. Get help with the many, many resources available on Holding the Hope’s resource page or simply connect with a person in your area by calling the National Suicide Prevention Line. Remember to get the FACTS , CARE and, as always, keep your hope alive.

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 28, 2018

Ask About Suicide, Already!

Is it really OK to ask about suicide?  Really?  YESASK Already.

People thinking of suicide are conflicted and in a lot of pain.  They want to talk about the situation, but they don’t know if you want to hear it.  They send off warning signs sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly, because they want to stay alive.  They are waiting for you to bring it up.

People thinking of suicide are waiting for you to ask:  Ask directly; ask clearly; ask it again until you’re sure you believe the answer.

People tell me, “That seems harsh”.  “It feels very intrusive”  “I’m too awkward to just outright ask”.

So let me tell you – when you ask directly about suicide in a caring way, people will answer you honestly and directly.   Often people are relieved to have an opportunity to talk about their pain.  Besides – what’s the worst that could happen?  You’re embarrassed?  How does that compare with saving a person’s life?

So, let me help you out.  There is a formula you can use that will simplify everything.  I call it the “no dodge” question.  Make sure your questions is:

  1.  In the present tense – right now are you thinking of suicide?
  2. A Yes or no question – this is not the time to discuss the politics of suicide.  Yes or no – do you want to kill yourself?
  3. Using the word “suicide” or “kill yourself” – Euphemisms are not helpful here.  Asking directly tells the person you are willing to talk about suicide.

Here is an example:

“You are very upset about this [breakup, job loss, mistake whatever the problem is].  Sometimes when people experience this type of loss, they think of suicide.  Are you thinking of suicide?”

One more thing – asking about suicide will NOT plant the seed.  Not asking about suicide puts the person’s life at greater risk.

Once the person is talking with you, get help.  Call your local crisis line or the national suicide prevention hotline.  Here are some more resources to help you out.

National Suicide Prevention Hotlines
1-800 273-TALK (273-8255) press 1 for Veteran support
1-800- Suicide (784-2433) press 1 for Veteran support
1-866- 4U Trevor (488-7386) – GLBT support

On-line Resources
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.com (on-line chat available)