3 Questions to Ask Someone Who may be Suicidal

Last month we looked at King David’s struggle with depression. We would like to expand on one symptom he was exhibiting: suicidal thoughts.

Suicide is a scary topic for a lot of people. With people’s lives being thrown upside-down by the health crisis, the volume of Americans suffering from anxiety has increased dramatically. This is quite typical during pandemics but the numbers reported by the American Psychiatric Association are still staggering:

  • Nearly 50% of Americans are concerned with contracting COVID-19

  • Nearly 40% of Americans are anxious about dying or becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19

  • Over 60% of Americans are anxious about a family member or loved one contracting COVID-19.

Anxiety disorders have often been associated with suicide. Now that many of us are on lockdown, pathways to healthcare may appear blocked for those suffering from high anxiety. If you are concerned that a loved one may be showing signs of suicidal thoughts, here are three ways to start a conversation with them:

  1. How are you coping with your current circumstances?

  2. Are you thinking about giving up?

  3. Are you thinking about hurting yourself?

A common misconception is that asking these questions will encourage someone suicidal to hurt themselves. The reality is starting a dialogue can actually reduce their risk.

If you know someone who is suffering from suicidal thoughts, encourage them to contact (800) 273-TALK and seek treatment. If someone you know attempts suicide, dial 9-1-1 immediately. 

Suicidal behavior is a serious risk during these challenging times and being informed can help someone you care about get through their struggle. There are many resources available to the public to learn more or seek help including www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Remember, what may seem like a small show of support to you can make all the difference to a loved one who is suffering.

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