Suicide: Say this, not that

Don’t say: You have so much to live for!
Say instead: Tell me more about how you feel

Don’t say: You shouldn’t feel that way. You have so much going for you.
Say instead: How long have you been feeling this way?

Don’t say: Promise me you won’t attempt suicide
Instead say: Please put me on your call list if you are struggling. And while we’re at it, let’s put in some crisis lines now.

Don’t say: I remember when I had a breakup and I got over it and you will to. You’ll find someone else.
Instead say: That must be very painful to lose a relationship that you were so invested in. I know you loved him. Tell me more about how you’re feeling. I can’t fix it but I’m here to listen.

Don’t say: Think of what this would do to your family.
Instead say: You mentioned a sister. Tell me more about her.

Don’t say: Are you just trying to get attention?
Instead say: I’m here to listen. How long have you felt this way?

Don’t say: Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem.
Instead say: I’m so sorry you suffer these unbearable episodes. You’re so brave to have endured them for so long.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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