Guest View: It’s okay to talk about suicide

Don’t change the subject. When someone shares this painful information with you it might be hard to hear, but imagine feeling the way that they feel. Changing the subject signals that you are not someone they can talk to about their feelings and challenges. Focus on the person who is in front of you and let them know you will be there for them.

Don’t be dismissive. Don’t use phrases that undermine their feelings such as, “You’re not really feeling this way. You don’t mean that. Don’t say that.” Phrases like these are very dismissive of their feelings and take away the severity of the situation.

Make a commitment to them. Let them know that you are there for them and willing to sit in this place with them. What you are relaying to them can sound like this: I am here emotionally and physically for you. I can commit that we will get through this together. We will find the resources that you need.

Discuss treatment options. Mental health conversations can make people feel very vulnerable. Some fear that if they feel suicidal that they will be involuntarily committed to a hospital, but this is simply not the case the majority of the time. Let them know you will find treatment options together. They can then figure out what types of care work best for them and what they would be willing to try.

If you or someone you know might be at-risk for suicide or other mental health challenges, Centerstone can help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 or visit for more information.

John Markley serves as Regional CEO of Centerstone in Illinois, serving residents in eastern and southern Illinois.

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Region: Southern,Editorial,City: Carbondale,Region: Carbondale,Opinion

via The Southern

September 11, 2021 at 08:18AM

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