People seem to think that by not talking about suicide to someone, they will never do it. That just because someone seems fine and happy on the outside does not mean that they are not crying for help on the inside. Reader’s Digest has had mental health professionals speak about the best way to talk about suicide so that you know when someone is struggling and can help them.

Be Careful When Talking About Suicide

Grief counselor Jill Johnson-Young believes that it is best to avoid the phrase “committed suicide.” It makes someone feel like they are being accused and places blame on them. The best thing to say is that the person “died as a result of suicide” or “ended their life.” You should also not ask someone how exactly that person died. The method that someone chooses to end their life is not important and can be a difficult subject if the person you are asking found their body.

Talking About Suicide Will Not Make Someone Suicidal

Many people think that talking about suicide will already trigger suicidal acts or suicidal thoughts. Psychotherapist Kara Lissy says that when someone talks about suicide to you, they can feel more comfortable sharing their feelings. You would be providing that person with emotional support and care knowing that they can turn to you.

Suicide is Not Caused Solely on a Difficult Life Event

You cannot always pinpoint the moment that led you to have suicidal thoughts. Suicide is the result of mental illness. If you are struggling with depression and do not do anything about your troubling thoughts, they will grow stronger. It is possible that certain life events have made your emotions grow sadder, but a mental illness will lead you to believe that suicide is the answer. The truth is that speaking to a therapist about your symptoms and your feelings will decrease your feelings of suicide.

Keep the Memory of That Person Alive

Suicide may seem shameful compared to other causes of death. In reality, remembering and honoring that person can provide healing to those left behind. Use their name and do something to honor their memory like a walk, donate to research, or ask the family how to honor that person. By being careful how you talk about suicide and honoring that person’s memory, you will break the stigma and more can be done to prevent it.

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-Step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.