Posted in Being Vulnerable

Suicide is personal to me

My older brother tried to kill himself when I was a kid.
I remember meeting him in the hospital and giving him silly putty to play with.
I remember my mom crying against his frail body beneath the hospital gown.

He was just a boy in my mind, but also my hero.

And I didn’t know then why he did it.

But now I know.

Approximately 87% of people who commit suicide have a mental illness.

Suicide is not selfish.

It is an escape for people who need help.

Like him.

He was not weak.

He was scared.

And I’m so grateful he wasn’t successful.

But just because he lived doesn’t mean the conversation is over.

The suicide rate is going up and therefore the conversation around it also needs to go up.

I’m done pretending our world is fine.

We are not fucking fine.

We need help.

And we need awareness.


Posted in Being Vulnerable

How should I talk with someone who is suicidal?

1. Inform them that thoughts of suicide are often linked to a treatable mental illness. This may instil a sense of hope in them.
2. Suicidal thoughts are common and do not have to be acted upon. The thoughts are often a plea for help and a desperate attempt to escape distressing feelings.
3. Encourage them to do most of the talking.
4. Do not attempt to solve their problems.
5. If you appear confident in the face of the suicide crisis, this can be reassuring for the person.
6. Although some people think that asking about suicide can put the idea in the person’s mind, this is not true.

From: Mental Health First Aid training