How to talk to someone who is contemplating suicide:
1 Ask if you can talk to them in private
2. Ask open-ended questions:
- You have not seemed like yourself lately?
- Anything bothering you?
- How are you doing?
- Is everything OK?
3. Listen to their story
4. Have you thought about hurting yourself or ending your life?
5. Encourage them to seek mental health services/treatment
6. Remind them it takes courage to do this but it’s the smart thing to do
One other note. If they have lethal means, a gun or other weapon, this is a situation where the most important thing is to not leave them with that weapon. Most likely you have to do many of the steps above before you ask them to hand over a weapon that they may have intended to use to harm themselves.
Use this suicide assessment tool on your mobile phone. It’s not an app in the traditional sense but it’s a good assessment tool.
For Veterans in Virginia
- Suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis text line. Text the word start to 741-741
- Veteran’s Services 1-800-273-8255, press 1
NAMI resource book. (Very popular item. They are looking for a sponsor for printing more. Let me know if you are interested.)