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Health Care Providers > Addressing Suicide > Helping someone who is thinking about Suicide

Suicide Prevention

Here are some points to keep in mind when helping someone who is thinking about Suicide:

- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide. This will enable the person to voice her pent -up stress  leading to her preparedness to consider alternatives.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings. Help her to ease out and ventilate.
- Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad. Create a space where she can pick up her spirits to reflect.
- Don't lecture on the value of life. Draw her attention to her strengths to cope in earlier situations.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support. Tell her that she can turn to you whenever needed.
- Don't dare him or her to do it. This may lead her to believe that you are not concerned.
- Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you and the patient. She may close up. She may conclude that she cannot express her raw feelings.
- Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support. Respond to the need.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance. Suggest something, which is within her reach.
- Take action. Remove means, such as sharp instruments, insecticides, stockpiled pills, and kerosene, any other poisonous or combustible substance, etc. As far as possible ensure that the person is not alone.
- Get help from persons or agencies specialising in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

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