Hey! Thank you for reaching out to us about this. It definitely seems like you and your friend are going through some rough times right now. As you indicated, suicide is a serious problem but always a little tricky to talk about, given all of the stigma and judgement surrounding it. That said, I want to commend you for how compassionate you are. It’s amazing that you have the desire to help your friend with their suicidal ideation. However, please remember to not place too much responsibility on yourself!
You are not alone, there are professionals out there to support you and your friend through all of this.
You’re already doing the right thing by reaching out to us to talk about this! One of the most important things to keep in mind when talking about this kind of thing is to be careful about pressuring your friend into talking. They might not be ready to talk about it yet. However, I’m sure that your presence and unconditional support means the world to your friend, even if they may not actively take you up on your offer of support. It can be frustrating and leave you feeling helpless at times but you’re doing the right thing by simply offering to be there for your friend. There is only so much that you can do, so don’t blame yourself for not being able to do more.
If and when your friend does feel comfortable talking to you about their suicidal ideation and attempt, then remember to practice active listening! The best thing you can do at that point is to empathize with them and let them lead the conversation and supporting them through how they’re feeling as best as you can.
Try to keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to “help” them through what they’re feeling, that’s what the professionals are there for! Your role as a friend is to support them and reassure them that they’re not alone in this.
That being said, I want to say that if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed about any of this, please reach out to us on our call lines at 403-264-8336 which are open 24/7. You can reach our text line at 587-333-2724, there is also the online chatting service on our website if you’d prefer that. Please feel free to encourage your friend to reach out to us as well! We provide support where confidentiality is assured so your friend may be more comfortable with that.
In other words, I think you’re doing the best that you can already! Continue being there for your friend and that’s all you can really expect of yourself. Throughout all of this, please continue to take care of yourself as well. Your mental health is equally as important as your friend’s, don’t forget to look out for yourself as well.
If you’d like to continue reading about this topic, this is an article talking about suicide: How to talk about suicide
Wishing you all the best,