Suicidal thoughts and attempts are common. You are not alone.
It is important to take care of yourself, to connect with those whom you trust and who support you.
You may be feeling a whole host of emotions: embarrassment, anger, confusion and/or relief. Most people who attempt suicide do not want to die, they want to end the emotional pain that is making their lives so miserable. Our network of attempt and suicide loss survivors is a safe space to connect with others about your experience.
There is no right or wrong way to find your personal path to healing. Not all attempt survivors feel ready to see a counselor immediately. But here are some steps you can take:
- Get professional counseling help, as well as peer-to-peer support. Stick with it. Not every counselor will be the right fit for you. Click here to find a therapist near you.
- Remove the dangers in your home such as guns and excess medication during this time.
- Identify what thoughts or behaviors set you off and make you think about suicide.
- Make a safety plan that includes the names of people you would call or what you would do, if/when thoughts of suicide should return.
- Make a recovery plan that includes ways to build healthy coping skills, strengthen relationships and manage stressors.
- Think about what you will say about your suicide attempt and who you are willing to tell – consider what questions you will answer and which ones you won’t.
FOR FAMILIES / FRIENDS OF AN ATTEMPT SURVIVOR
Your loved one is out of the woods – for now. But in addition to feeling immense relief that they survived, worrisome questions are probably swimming in your head:
“Can I trust her to stay safe?”
“Will he do this again?”
“Why didn’t she tell me she was struggling? I would have been there for her.”
The list goes on.
You’ve been through a harrowing experience, and it’s important to take care of yourself and your loved one. Establishing safety and a support system is now the top priority. That includes drafting a safety plan (see above) and taking an inventory of lethal means in your home (such as guns and excess medications).
- Stories of Hope and Recovery
- Live Through This A collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors as told by those survivors.
- A Journey toward Health & Hope Your Handbook for recovery after a suicide attempt.
- Now Matters Now Skills and Support for coping with suicidal thoughts.
- After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department (SAMHSA)
- Guiding Their Way Back (Beyond Blue) This is an excellent document, but ignore the Australian resources.
- How to Talk to a Child After a Suicide Attempt in Your Family Age-appropriate text and videos from Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention