Seeking professional and clinical help can be the key to helping someone who may be contemplating suicide

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What leads someone to suicide?

How can someone appear to have it all, be happy and well-adjusted and die by suicide?

What is a mental illness?

What are outward signs that someone is contemplating suicide?

What are the hidden signs that someone is contemplating suicide?

Do people that die by suicide consider beforehand what it will do to their families?

What are some of the ways people can help someone they believe is contemplating suicide?

If someone is thinking about suicide, what should they consider to help reverse those thoughts?

  • Take 10 deep breaths being mindful of the breath, focusing the mind on each breath by counting quietly in your head, feel the breath filling your lungs and belly with air. Hold the breath for four to five seconds and the slowly release for six seconds while repeating peaceful words or phrases like “Everything will be OK” or “Stay calm” in your head. This exercise of mindfulness helps to slow the breathing and reduce anxiety or stress that one may be feeling physiologically.
  • Start a gratitude journal. Writing at least three to five things you are grateful for is a simple exercise which produces endogenous dopamine that can improve one’s emotional state. It also helps to refocus the thoughts onto more positive things.
  • Be nonjudgmental with yourself. Check the facts as sometimes thoughts or emotions may be an interpretation of events but not the actual truth of a situation. This may include speaking to someone like a behavioral health clinician about it. Maintaining a therapeutic relationship with a counselor is an important adjunctive treatment for improving mental health.
  • Repeating several phrases of affirmation, such as “It is enough to do my best,” “Every day is a fresh start,” and “This may be challenging but I can get through anything especially with the right help,” can create hopefulness and boost problem-solving abilities.
  • Refocus attention since when you are distracted, emotions can change. Plan pleasant events. For example, listen to music or watch a movie, draw and color, go out for walks in a safe time and manner, or exercise, watch funny videos, place a cold compress or ice at the nape of the neck, to name a few.
  • Meditate on positive emotions. For instance, when you’re feeling sad, try to think about what joy feels like, looks like, sounds like. What are you doing when you feel joy, etc. Immerse yourself onto a more positive emotion.
  • Call a trusting and supportive friend or loved one, or call a help line.

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