By On April 23rd, 2013

How to Prevent Suicide in the Christian Family

The staff at Brookhaven Hospital extends our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Mathew Warren, son of Rick Warren. Matthew Warren met a tragic end of his life as he turned to suicide as his last resort to escape the difficulties of his life and his mental disorder. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who shared the same fate as Matthew’s. In fact, there are about 90% of people with mental disorders who die by suicide. With this alarming statistic, it is crucial for everyone to know how to prevent suicide in the family.

Focus your ears

The first thing that you need to do is  focus your ears. Before most people decide to end their life, they have a tendency to talk about what they are feeling to other people. There are some people who talk about their plans with others. If someone tells you about their plans, don’t dismiss their emotions as blank threats. Let them talk and just listen to what they are saying. Talking about death and suicide can be uncomfortable, but it is a tell-tale sign that a person is in dire need of help. Do not abandon him or her by cutting the conversation short.

Gather information from the person

As soon as the person tells you about his or her plan, make a mental note of when, where and how that person will enact the plan. Also ask the person how long she or he has been entertaining the thought of suicide.

If a person has a definite plan or you feel they do, you need to call a professional crisis team to help you.  As much as possible, try not to leave the person alone.  On the other hand, if the person does not have a definite plan, do not leave him. Your presence will make a difference and he might forgo his plans if he knows that somebody cares for him.

Evaluate the person

Try asking the person some questions about his day or week. Try to find out if there are situations in the past that triggered thoughts of suicide.  You can also ask them to explain why they are feeling such thoughts as this will help you evaluate his or her intentions. Make sure that you empathize with them and validate their struggles. Tell them that it is alright for them to feel such things.

Give them hope

As soon as you have heard the person’s problems, affirm and encourage him.  Individuals may have thoughts of suicide because they see no other way out of the current situation. Letting them know that there is help available can give them hope.  Pointing out the temporary nature of their situation or a different way to look at their situation may offer hope to the individual.

Help them to relax

Most people who are entertaining the thought of suicide are stressed out. Most of these people haven’t slept enough for a long time and are often distracted. They are prone to having panic attacks. What you can do is to help them calm down by teaching them breathing exercises.

Follow-up his condition and Pray

Once you have saved a person from imminent danger of suicide, you need to follow up on his or her condition and pray. If he is ready to talk about his or her condition to other people, encourage the person to seek professional help.  However, if he seeks professional support, you should still show your unwavering support to him.

Dealing with issues like suicide and mental problems is not easy. It requires one to become sensitive to the emotional needs of a problematic person. You have to provide a loving as well as safe environment for that person to dispel his or her thoughts about suicide. These are important tips on how to help a loved one get through a crisis safely and hopefully help a person get back on their feet.

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