When it comes to suicidal clients and their families, trauma therapists believe quality post-vention is the ultimate pre-vention because family members of those who die by suicide are at high risk for ending their own lives the same way. Trauma Support Services of North Texas (TSSNT) takes its role in suicide prevention very seriously by offering free individual and group therapy for family members of suicide victims. A suicide trauma group in Fort Worth begins on October 6 and one in Dallas begins on October 11. For more information or to schedule an Intake for the group, contact Erika Williams at 972-740-3636.
Below are 5 tips for suicide prevention that anyone can use should you find yourself in this situation with a loved one.
- Ask, using the word “suicide.” Say something like, “I am worried about you and wonder how much you’ve been thinking about suicide lately.”
- Listen exquisitely. “Tell me more about that.” (This is the hardest part of suicide prevention. A suicidal person is not interested in your advice. He or she does want you to listen until you ”get” their pain. Don’t try to talk them out of their pain, but look them in the eye, nod your head, letting them know that you are trying to understand.
- Develop a Safety Plan. When you hear a hint of reason to live, explore. Say something like, “It sounds like there is a part of you that doesn’t want to die today. When you have felt suicidal before, what or who helped then? Or “What do we need to do to keep you safe just for today?”
- Make it happen. Call the person who helped before and ask them to come. If medication is needed to stabilize, take the person to a hospital emergency department or call the primary care physician.
- Don’t leave the suicidal person alone. Stay with them until a reliable support person comes. This person must agree to stay with the suicidal person until the next day when a therapy or physician appointment can be arranged.