Have you spotted suicidal tendencies in your friend or family member or someone at work? Life can be very stressful especially if one is far away from his family and homeland. Stress and suicidal tendencies unfortunately are on the high especially with the migrant community.
Instead of panicking, yelling and advising on the value of life, itÔÇÖs important that you quickly recognise suicidal behaviour as a silent cry for help. Then gently help them choose life.
Follow the steps below to save your friend from taking the drastic step.
Reach out and listen
Be proactive and immediately reach out, when you feel your friend is slowly recoiling into a shell. Hear them out patiently and validate their feelings by letting them know that you understand their pain. DonÔÇÖt trivialise them by joking about their issues especially in public. Assure them of your support and help, to make things better.
DonÔÇÖt fuel their guilt
Guilt is one of the key triggers of suicide. Hence donÔÇÖt be tempted to give a judgemental homily on how selfish, coward or stupid they are to think about suicide. They probably have enough guilt in them thatÔÇÖs led them in search of death.
DonÔÇÖt promise secrecy
When you sense your friend is closing in on the wrong turn, you need to get quick help. Hence donÔÇÖt promise your friend that youÔÇÖll keep his suicidal tendencies a secret forever. Then when you open up about the situation to his therapist, it might be misunderstood as breach of trust, further causing them to lose hope in humanity and living.
Encourage lifestyle changes
Spend more time, slowly distracting them with healthy lifestyle changes. Encourage plenty of sleep, exercise and outdoor activities for enhanced endorphin (feel good hormone) production.
Increase family time
Research proves that young people who are more connected with their families and communities are less likely to engage in suicidal behaviours. Hence help them connect with their family members by using mobile apps such as Google Hangouts, Tango, Facetime or Skype. You can also introduce the concept of family play that offers best bonding experiences, with mobile gaming apps such as Headsup, Reverse Charades and Evil Apples.
How are you going to help people choose life and put an end to suicide?