someone you know is threatening to
commit suicide take them very seriously.
is a danger that by dismissing a threat of suicide as melodramatic; and the person confessing as being a "drama
queen seeking attention" - that this rejection could actually trigger a suicidal act.
people going through a suicidal crisis are so emotionally fragile, that having to cope with one more feeling
of rejection can be the straw that broke the camel's back.
by dismissing them out of hand has been known to result in some people 'staging a suicide' in the hope that they
would be discovered and saved. All too
often people are not discovered, nor are they saved.
could be that you are the first and only person that that he or she has confided in. If this is so, it could have
taken a lot of time, and every last ounce of courage that that person had left to do this.
fact that they are alive and feel able to confide in someone, and that someone is you, are all very positive signs. This being
so, your response is very important to that person, but do not panic. He or she has chosen you for a reason.
Don't worry too much about saying exactly the right word. It's very likely that he or she needs someone simply to listen at
that whoever it is that is opening his or her heart to you is also exposing their weaknesses and pain. They know that they
run the risk of ridicule and rejection yet they still choose to tell you. He or she is taking this enormous risk because
he or she knows you, trusts you, maybe even loves you. But above all: In this dreadful moment, you above all others have
got their faith
yourself in his or her shoes. Who would be the one person that you would turn to in time of a major personal crisis..?
Of all the people in the World, which is the one person that you would choose to confide in?
is required of you ?
situation in a nutshell)
- The first
thing to do is diffuse the immediate crisis.
- Once this
has been done it will then be possible to begin to resolve the underlying issues which resulted in the crisis in the
is your presence and support which is the most important thing to him or her at this precise moment. Sometimes it is
simply enough for that person to know that you are there for them, no matter what. The best thing you can do at this precise
moment is to make yourself a nice hot drink. Enjoy a few moments to yourself, and when you're ready move on to the next page.
Please remember that this website is intended to help you with this difficult time, but I can't make us hot drinks.
to relax. The important point to remember is that suicide is preventable and so far,everything
looking very positive.
Try to persuade him
or her to seek professional help or encourage them to call The Samaritans. If he or she doesn't want either of these
options, invite him or her to to check out the DASI WEBSITE: http://johnnessuno.tripod.com This could provide a number of options2suicide,
and to the way they are feeling, and assist you both in your endeavours to cope with this truly difficult experience.
a loved one has confided in you that he or she is feeling suicidal, you are probably experiencing a sense of stunned disbelief
at this moment. Rather like a numb feeling.
is natural. Such news often leaves a person feeling confused, shocked and totally unsure as to what to do. Do not
worry, this is quite normal.
such as: "What did I do wrong?" and "where did I fail" (etc) often accompany feelings of failure, futility and even guilt
only add to the general bewilderment caused by such an emotionally frightening bolt out of the blue. First of all breathe
slowly and deeply. Make yourself a hot sweet drink and don't panic. Believe it or not, this terrible situation is not as bad
as it will seem at this moment.
shocking nature of the news you have just received or discovered - the feelings which you are experiencing are probably
perfectly natural. This itself is a very good sign.
the feelings of being a failure are misleading. Bearing in mind that it is you above everyone else on this planet that has been confided in speaks volumes about you
as a Human Being.
are clearly held in the very highest esteem by the person reaching out to you for help. This proves your value to the person
concerned. He or she is going through a terrible ordeal and is in a very frightening place. But the point is that they have
broken their silence and raised the subject with you. This itself is a very healthy breakthrough.
site is here to help you cope with this scary situation. But, you need to relax and read a little information to help you
understand the overall picture a little clearer. It should only take a couple of minutes to read but should be of help to
you at this time.
is suicide ?
Suicide is a silent killer
which stalks everyone on this planet regardless of age and gender. It can destroy any family regardless of race, culture or
profession. From the rich and powerful, to the poor and vulnerable. In this respect, suicide is not only a great leveller,
it is also the enemy of every family and community on planet Earth.
This being so, it is imperative
that we learn how to combat its effects in order to protect our own families and those that we love. The following 'webpages'
are dedicated to addressing this need.
Not knowing what to do
when faced with a crisis can be a terrifying experience.
Not knowing what to do
or say, when confronted by a loved one having suicidal thoughts and feelings can be a major shock. Being faced with such a
frightening event often creates feelings of helplessness. Especially when all of your instincts are telling you to help and
you simply don't know how to.
Unlike physical injuries
which can be treated with splints, bandages and plasters; a broken heart cannot be mended. There is no point in reaching for
the FIRST AID BOX as there is nothing in there to help you when you need to administer EMOTIONAL FIRST AID. Work is underway
to construct such a much needed item. Please click below.
In this nightmare situation,
a caring, non-judgemental supportive presence is the best assistance anyone can offer to someone who is emotionally devastated.
Just being with a person who is suffering at the time that your presence is most needed is vitally important and will be experienced
by that person as being an extremely positive help.
Bearing in mind that suicidal
thoughts and feelings are extremely frightening for the people experiencing them. The resultant anxiety and confusion only
complicate matters further and add to the crisis.
People going through this
darkness believe that their lives are utterly intolerable and their overwhelming desire is to end their emotional existence.
However, being Human Beings our instincts to survive are strong and so the person is in conflict with themselves.
It is at this point
that we encounter the fundamental paradox of suicide. This paradox is most beautifully framed in Shakespeare's immortal words
"to be or not to be".
I do not believe that anyone
would really want "to die" unless the pain of living was too great to live with. But we do choose "not to be" in
an emotional Hell. Not to be in an unacceptable condition at a particular time.
"Not to be " in this impossible
"Not to be" in this intolerable
"Not to be" in this agonising
"Not to be" suffering.
"Not to be" in this misery.
"Not to be" in pain.
"Not to be" here.
All too often this
desire not to be results in a suicidal act. But the intention was never to die, simply "not to be"
We need to assist people
in crisis to recognise that what they need to do is not 'to die' - but 'not to be' in whatever
(condition) it is ,which is making their life impossible. Sometimes this will require a professional counsellor, othertimes,
just a good friend. Sometimes psychotherapy - othertimes lots of hugs and cuddles.
By being there and supporting
a person to survive their darkest hour, there is a danger that you will become a rock for the person to hide behind. For your
own peace of mind you need to 'guide' him or her to other sources of care and support. This is where self-help support groups
and other support groups are invaluable. I've included
a large number of leads in the DASI WEBSITE. Encourage
him or her to research what is best for them
the end of the day there is nothing wrong with having suicidal thoughts and feelings - but it is wrong to act upon them.
when someone confides in you that they are experiencing such frightening thoughts. Do not be afraid.
are reaching out to you as the one person who can save his or her life.
is an awesome responsibilty, but you can do it. If this person is a loved one, please don't punish them because of their feelings,
please love them unconditionally.
DASI Individual support: A close friend you can trust
If your friend has informed you that he or she is feeling suicidal they are reaching out to you.
§ Listen carefully to what your friend is sharing
§ Let them know that you are there for them
§ Be non judgemental.
§ Re-assure them that you really do want to help.
§ Acknowledge that your friend has a problem.
§ Dissuade them from doing anything reckless.
§ Don’t encourage them to use drink or drugs.
§ Encourage them to talk and show you what’s
§ Encourage them to indulge in activities which they
§ Applaud their achievements
§ Applaud their efforts
§ Remind them of better times which they enjoyed.
§ Resist the temptation to lecture.
§ Encourage them to plan ahead
§ Assist them to develop a simple survival plan.
§ Defend them against the ignorance of others.
Basically be a friend when a friend is needed most.
Hopefully by now you
are over the initial shock of discovering that someone close to you is going through Hell, and is even contemplating death
as a means of ending the emotional pain that they are going through. But be cautious, his or her ego may be far too fragile
to handle criticism at this stage.
If you are the
parent of a child experiencing such thoughts; stay calm. Your first instinct will probably be to shout and react. This will
not help and will probably make things worse. Indeed, this could have tragic consequences.
Take what they
are saying seriously. Remember they are placing enormous trust in you by sharing their innermost secrets. Imagine the damage
you could cause by laughing in his or her face at such a crucial moment.
This being so it
should be accepted that this is not the time to shout, lecture, ridicule or scoff. This is a potentially lethal situation.
Someone needs your help to survive it. This is not the time or place for comments such as "calm down" "don't cry" "it could
be worse" "don't talk stupid" "pull yourself together" "get a grip of yourself" "is that all" or "it's God's Will" etc. Such comments really do not help anyone.
I BELIEVE THAT THE BEST TREATMENT FOR ANY EMOTIONAL CRISIS, (INCLUDING SUICIDE) IS NOT MEDICATION, THERAPIES
OR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. ALTHOUGH THESE OPTIONS ARE ALL OPEN TO US ONCE THE CRISIS HAS PASSED. IT IS GOOD OLD T.L.C.
You need to be non-judgemental,
supportive, caring and patient. Ideally, encourage them to talk, but not to the point where he or she feels that
they are being interrogated or pressured. Show that you care and reassure them of this. It is always a good thing to know.
Don't blame them for
the way they are. Their inability to cope and their failure to do the most trivial of chores etc. But applaud their achievements.
Encourage them to participate in activities they used to enjoy and (whenever possible) give them unconditional support.
Take good care of yourself.
Don't take on too much pressure and responsibility. Helping a person come to terms with such a frightening experience is a
massive resonsibility, but, don't do it alone. You need to look after yourself and your own health It is probably wise
to discuss this difficult situation with your doctor, or someone else that you can trust.
Things to remember
- Listen very carefully
- Offer your assistance
- Provide a listening ear
- Reassure them that they are safe
- Help with everyday tasks
- Allow them private space
- Try to guide - not, to push.
- Don't take their anger or other
- Speak calmly with a soft voice
- Encourage them to share their
- Acknowledge their feelings
- Do not lecture or trivialise their
- Re-assure, be supportive
Don't be embarrassed to
show you care. Let them know that you really do care and that you are there for them.
Click here to access an AUSTRALIAN site which will provide you with a TOOL KIT for HELPING SOMEONE AT RISK OF SUICIDE.
Click here to access a DASI site: COPING WITH THE FAILED SUICIDE OF A LOVED ONE
Further advice and information can be found at the main DASI WEBSITE to enter please click here