Kate was brought up in a cult that didn’t allow medical intervention. She is a person with lived experience who has had suicidal thoughts. For Kate, a big contributing factor to this is her strict upbringing and the conflict that comes that resulted from severing ties with a religion that holds you hostage but also is the only life you’ve ever known.
Do: Listen. Let them voice their emotions. Ask if they would like to make a list of the things that they need, both large and small. Do something on it right away. It will make them feel both cared for and heard. Delegate tasks. Only commit to what you can follow through on. Time is of the essence.
Jancee Dunn wrote a lovely article earlier this month: When Someone You Love Is Upset, ask: “Do you want to be helped, heard or hugged.”
Ask. Do what they want. Not what you want them to want, what they asked for.
Especially if the person in crisis is someone that is otherwise extremely functional, tread lightly around unsolicited advice.
Avoid statements starting with “well maybe you should…” or “why don’t you just…”
If you say the wrong thing, let them get infuriated and/or angry. “I’m just trying to help!” will likely have as much success diffusing the situation as telling any woman ever to “just calm down!”
They are in crisis. A state in which many die from. Don’t minimize. It IS that bad.
Looks can be deceiving. Lots of people “look fine” or even quite well when in crisis. Watch for sudden changes in behavior. Have they stopped opening their mail? Are they planning for the future at all-just the near future?
Send a handwritten card in the mail. Ask others to do so as well. Food is healing, food is life. We all need to eat. Add a gift card to a restaurant or market that they enjoy.
Animals and small children can be quite healing.
Love. Compassion. Common ground. Connection. Unity.
We have all struggled at times. I humbly ask to please check in and care for our fellow man. Pay it forward when the strength is restored to do so.