by Bethany Eggers, MA, LPC-MH
September is Suicide Awareness Month. Seeing the word “suicide” in the title may have made you a little hesitant on reading or maybe it drew you in wondering where it was going. The word has such a strong, jerk reaction but I’m hoping to share some perspective if you yourself need some help or if someone around you may be struggling.
How to help others experiencing suicidal thoughts:
- Know that depression looks different on everyone, especially in public
- Listen and be there for the person without advice, judgment or expectation
- Don’t dismiss the subject or take it as a manipulative threat. Take it as a condition that needs treatment and care
- Don’t just tell them to go to the ER or call the cops. Rather, go to them, speak to them, and drive them to the ER if needed, with care.
- If you can’t go to them and feel they are in immediate danger, call a welfare check on them.
How to help yourself:
- Tell your safe, supportive friends. Talk about it. Don’t isolate yourself.
- Tell your therapist and/or psychiatrist. Set up appointments if you do not have them set up already.
- If you are in crisis, utilize your therapist’s on-call procedures or go to the ER.
These tips and more are provided by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). When we do not understand something, it is so important to ask and not assume that we know what someone is going through. Take a moment to sit and listen.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” Brene Brown
At all four of our locations - River Counseling Services in Platte, Sioux Falls Psychological Services, and Stronghold Counseling Services in Sioux Falls and in Yankton, our mission is this- we meet you where you are, offering hope. You may schedule an appointment at the Platte office at 605-337-3444 or meet with one of our Sioux Falls or Yankton based therapists from your computer, smartphone, or in person at any of our clinics. To schedule an appointment, please call 605-334-2696.