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 and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on 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, coping strategies/resilience, 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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