Here’s How To Help A Suicidal Loved One According To A Therapist

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Teenage girl using mobile phone while sitting with friends at cafe seen through glass window

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When a friend or relative expresses suicidal thoughts, it’s important that people close to them act quickly and take the proper steps to ensure that their loved one has all the care that they need. Rapper Azealia Banks recently went to Instagram and expressed plans to end her life by voluntary euthanasia. No matter how the public feels about the controversial Harlemnite, this is concerning and she needs help. But not everyone knows how to offer help other than showing up to that person’s house. This what you can do to help a friend that you are worried is suicidal:

Call 911 if your friend a danger to themselves

If your loved one has expressed suicidal intent (specific plans to end their life}, please call 911 and send them to their home immediately. They will be hospitalized in the nearest hospital in the psychiatric unit. When they are discharged, they have an aftercare plan that includes services, like therapy, a day program, etc., that will help keep them stabilized.

Keep a number to mobile crisis handy

A mobile crisis team consists of mental health professionals that will go to someone’s house of they are in danger of hurting themselves. The person that calls will have to do an assessment so the person on the phone can decide if it is an urgent matter and they can dispatch the team. Make sure you have your friend’s address to provide to the team.

Encourage them to attend therapy

If your loved one has made comments of having passive suicidal thoughts (saying things like they wished they were never born or they would be better off not being here) or has attempted suicide in the past, it is crucial that they are in therapy. Ask if they can sign a HIPAA consent form with their therapist giving you permission to be contacted if something is wrong or if the client cannot be reached and is believed to be in crisis.

Encourage them to use coping skills

Coping skills are important to manage your mental health. They help you relieve stress, redirect your attention and resolve whatever issue you are having. Coping skills can include journaling, meditation, working out, praying, reading, drawing or even watching your favorite television show or calling a friend. Click here to read more about coping skills.

Provide these phone numbers

Make sure your loved one has these phone numbers so they can call a mental health professional when they are in crisis or feeling suicidal.

National Suicide Hotline : 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text Hello to 741741

NYC Well for suicide prevention and crisis counseling: 1-888-692-9355


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