July 12th, 2020
There are so many different ways of intervention and also so many different circumstances. Let's say for example that someone has dealt with something like severe PTSD and issues of mental wellness for years. For someone you are very close with, you can, for example, go for a walk and say, "I understand why you would want to do this. And I want you to wait. Here's why..." And maybe the reason you're asking them to wait is because they have kids, even if those are grown kids. Grown kids need their parents at some point. Or maybe it's because they have a mother that doing this would kill.
Give them something to hold on to, something they value, because otherwise their life feels value-less. I don't think there's an end all be all answer to this question, but it's about trying to get people to move toward a place where there's more of an Is than an Is Not.
July 14th, 2020
Feel the feelings and reach out for help. Most people I know have had those thoughts and feelings and I think there's something important about normalizing it. How do we have a community around that? Is there someone to reach out to, and if there isn't someone, there are amazing resources.
For example, one of the biggest groups who contemplate suicide are GLBT+ teens. There's this amazing place called The Trevor Project. It's a national hotline of loving people who are available to talk with people who don't have someone they feel like they can trust to talk to. All the people I know who are connected to those kinds of supports are deeply connected to suicide in their own lives. So they will understand.
It is REALLY important to learn how to reach out. Even when we feel like no one cares. That is also just a feeling. It's so important to learn how to have our feelings without becoming our feelings. Not easy, and when things aren't easy, it's good to have a companion.
Mariangela AbeoOctober 1st, 2020
The first thing you should do is not think you can fix it, not think that you can save them and not think you can help them. Listening to them and being present is most important.
When it comes to suicidal thoughts or intentions, we have to remember that this is a person’s choice. While you might postpone it a day or two, with distractions, with whatever, unless the problem is fixed at its root, it's not going to go away.
So, if someone is having those thoughts or feelings around you, make eye contact, let them know that you're actually there. Bring them something to change how their body is feeling. Bring them an ice-cold glass of water, have them take their socks off and walk around on a cold floor with you. Have them listen to music outside sitting in the grass. Change the way they're tactically feeling, with you, and make it so that they can enjoy a moment and remind them about that moment.
At the end of the day, you can offer support and you can give phone numbers, but you can't be with them 24/7 and you can't take responsibility for them, especially if they're an adult.