• Beth Perdue

Here’s what to say (and do) when talking to someone about suicide

“We know that every day, people are helping themselves and others get through their darkest moments.”


That sentence about suicide prevention, from the BeThe1To.com website, is a reminder of the simple power of people helping people to keep suicide from happening.


The website, part of The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s work to prevent suicide, doesn’t reference the number of people who have died from suicide, but instead notes how many people have lived despite considering or even acting to end their own life.


“For every person who dies by suicide annually,” they say, “there are another 280 people who have thought seriously about suicide who don’t kill themselves, and nearly 60 who have survived a suicide attempt.”


“The overwhelming majority of these individuals will go on to live out their lives.”


Just like knowing the steps it takes to prevent heart disease - eating well, exercising regularly - knowing what to say when faced with someone in extreme pain who sees suicide as a solution can help save a life.


BeThe1To.com is a great resource for those moments. The website outlines five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal, all drawn from evidence in the field of suicide prevention.


The steps are, in order: Ask, Be There, Keep Them Safe, Help Them Connect, and Follow Up.


It’s one page of succinct information with additional resources all designed to help you save a life. Take a moment to read it during this month dedicated to suicide prevention.


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