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How to help if someone is suicidal

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How to help if someone is suicidal

(The tips below are from the “Suicide First Aid Guidelines of the Philippines,” research supported by a grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the University of Melbourne, and printed with permission by AWIT, a foundation for advancing wellness, instruction, and talents.)

TELLTALE SIGNS IF SOMEONE IS SUICIDAL:
• Expresses, in words and actions, worthlessness, hopelessness, and shame.

• Withdrawal from society, family, and friends.

• Threatens to kill him/herself or wishes to die, verbally or in writing.

• Makes unexpected jokes about suicide.

• Acts recklessly in activities.

• Indulges in self-injuring behaviors like cutting, poisoning, or hitting one’s head against wall.

• Stops medical medications.

IF ONE OR MORE OF THE SIGNS APPEAR, ASK THE PERSON DIRECTLY:
• Are you having suicidal thoughts?

• Are you thinking of killing yourself?

Do not avoid using the word “suicide,” because it is important to discuss the issue directly without expressing judgment or fear.

HOW TO KEEP THEM SAFE:
• Never leave someone who is suicidal alone. Check them regularly.

• Try to remove the means of suicide available to them. Ask them to give dangerous things to you, and if they agree, dispose of them right away. If they don’t, call emergency services.

• Tell the person’s immediate family about their intention to die.

HOW TO TALK WITH SOMEONE WHO IS SUICIDAL
• Express empathy.

• Be calm and in control.

• Don’t express judgments.

• Allow the person to express his or her thoughts on dying, and help the person to understand that they have control over their suicidal thoughts.

• Clearly state that the suicidal thoughts may be caused by treatable disorder.

• Help the person work out practical strategies for dealing with difficulties in life.

• Ask the person what they think could help them keep their mind away from negative thoughts.

• Do not make the person feel guilty or ashamed.

• Focus on the good things in a person’s life.

• Encourage them to think about their strengths.

Here is the link of the pdf file of the guidelines: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwYtjctjnQyEU05YNGx4dkhCcFE/view?usp=sharing

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