Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While statistics show that the number of suicides is highest among 10-24-year-olds, the National Institutes of Health have reported that rates of middle-aged and elderly adult suicide are also increasing. If a loved one mentions committing suicide in Orlando, here are some things you can do or say to show you care.
Take Them Seriously
It can be tempting to hear a threat of suicide and chalk it up to being “overly dramatic.” When a loved one threatens or insinuates suicide, take them seriously and proceed as if it’s a real threat. Show them you care by listening attentively, seeking to understand their pain, and encouraging them to get help.
Take Action in an Emergency
If you believe that your loved one may take immediate steps to commit suicide, call 911 immediately. If you’re not sure, always err on the side of caution—calling for help when it’s not necessary is always better than doing nothing in a dangerous situation.
Address the Concern the Right Way
If you suspect a friend is considering suicide, it’s very important to approach them in a way that is non-threatening, warm, and caring. Ask your loved one to talk in private, ask them if they are okay, and listen to what they have to say before jumping in to give advice. Having someone to talk to about a problem that has been weighing on them can actually make a huge difference, and may encourage your loved one to seek professional help.
Support Them in Finding Help
When your loved ones are struggling with thoughts of suicide, the idea of seeking help independently can feel daunting or scary. Make time to help your loved ones explore suicide support groups, counseling or therapeutic options, and other avenues to address the underlying issues behind thoughts of suicide.