If you know someone who might be considering suicide, here are some steps you can take:
1. Ask the Hard Questions: Ask the person if they are thinking about suicide. Be prepared to listen to the answer. According to research on the topic, asking about suicide does not increase the likelihood of someone acting on the thoughts, and may in fact decrease the risk of suicide.
2. Be There: Stay connected regularly, in-person if necessary, to keep them safe. If you commit to be there, follow-up on the commitment. Connectedness is considered a protective factor against suicide.
3. Keep Them Safe: If the person says they have been thinking of suicide, or you suspect they may be, it is important to limit their access to means for suicide. These include firearms, medications, and other items or methods they might use.
4. Help Them Connect: Help them connect to a support system and emergency care they might need. If you're unsure what to do, you can contact the Salish regional crisis line at 1-888-910-0416 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Contact 911 if the individual is at risk for immediate harm.
5. Follow Up: After the crisis, continue to stay in contact with the person. Check in with them regularly to see how they are doing, and if they have accessed any referrals, resources, and follow-up care that may have resulted from the crisis.
6. What if someone doesn't want help?
There may be times when the person you are trying to support doesn't want help. This can be a difficult and frightening situation. If that occurs, remember your options:
> Contact crisis numbers above 24-hours a day to ask for guidance.> Restrict access to firearms or means of self harm.> Involuntary committment- call Salish Regional Crisis to discuss options.> Contact 911 for those in risk of immediate harm. You can also have law enforcement do a welfare check.
> Contact crisis numbers above 24-hours a day to ask for guidance.
> Restrict access to firearms or means of self harm.
> Involuntary committment- call Salish Regional Crisis to discuss options.
> Contact 911 for those in risk of immediate harm. You can also have law enforcement do a welfare check.