Starting A Suicide Conversation

A great guide to handling a life or death conversation. Thanks for sharing.

Centurion Strong Mental Health Alliance

You don’t need fancy words to start a potentially life-saving conversation. A simple “Are things so bad you are thinking of ending your life?” is enough.

If the answer is “Yes”, don’t respond by reciting a litany of reasons there are to go on living or try to guilt or shame the person into not killing themselves because it would hurt you or be inconvenient for others. If the answer is “No”, don’t assume you are hearing the truth.

Such actions are dangerous, insensitive, and counter-productive. Worse, they will end the conversation when it most needs to be heard.

Instead, listen, express concern (in a non-judgemental way), and reassure the person you would like to help them in whatever way needed in that moment. This could mean not talking at all, but just being there, unafraid of the darkness spoken between you and residing in them. It could also mean…

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