After the “Ask” step, and you’ve determined suicide is indeed being talked about, it’s important to find out a few things to establish immediate safety. Have they previously attempted suicide before talking with you? Does your loved one experiencing thoughts of suicide have a detailed plan? What kind of access to highly lethal means do they have?? Knowing the answers to each of these questions can tell us a lot about the imminence and severity of danger the person is in. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes that reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal means (or chosen method for a suicide attempt) is an important part of suicide prevention. A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.
If you ask someone if they are thinking about suicide and they say yes, take the second step and #BeThe1To keep them safe. Separate them from anything they are thinking of using to hurt themselves. It is always a good idea to create a safety plan to help keep you and your loved one during times of emotional distress. To create a safety plan, visit https://bit.ly/2T8OLqh. #SuicidePreventionMonth #SPM19