Questions to ask a suicidal person . . .

Many people reacted very quickly and very strongly to our last article regarding what NOT to say to a suicidal person.  Some disagreed with some (or all) of the statements in that list . . . but most just wanted to know how to be better prepared to intervene with someone having suicidal thoughts.  What we are including here is a list of questions that you can ask instead of saying some of the things that you should not say.

Although many of these questions would likely lead to answers that would require the help of a mental health professional to explore, they at least give friends and loved ones a place to start with a suicidal individual who has hit bottom, especially when it comes to the “big three” emotions of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

  1. What would your life look like without the present pain you’re going through?
  2. Who are the most important people in your life, and how would they feel about losing you?
  3. What is one thing that someone could do for you today that would make you feel better?
  4. If you are brave enough to die, what makes you think you can’t be brave enough to live?
  5. Do you really want to die, or do you just want to change the way you live?
  6. What are some goals you had for your life that you haven’t yet fulfilled?
  7. Are things as bad as they have ever been for you, or are you just having a harder time coping with what’s going on right now?
  8. If you could name one thing in your life that you are grateful for today, what would it be?
  9. Is there anything or anyone that could stop you from killing yourself today?
  10. Do you have any spiritual beliefs or practices that may influence how you feel about suicide?

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to us at m.me/callforbackup.org/.  If you are in crisis now and need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK, or text the keyword BADGE to 741741 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor.  Whether you are considering suicide, or trying to help someone who is considering suicide, it’s time to call for backup.

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