24/24 Response Line | 1 866 APPELLE (277-3553)
Help a Loved One
Concerned about a loved one? What should you do?
1. Be direct and speak calmly about suicide.
Ask the right questions to find out the person’s intentions. Ask them openly if they’re is thinking about suicide and listen to them without judgment. Talk with the person about their desire to end their life, ask them how and when they plans to take their life.
2. Ask how you can help.
Ask the person what you can do and if possible, make a plan of action to get help. (family, friends, agencies, etc.). While it is important to act quickly, it is also necessary for the person to take some steps to deal with the situation. At this stage, it is important not to take full responsibility for the person, as this could have the effect of confirming his or her inability to take care of himself or herself. Discuss with the person what he or she needs and what would be good for him or her. On the other hand, do not give your recipes for happiness.
3. Encourage the expression of the feelings that gave rise to the suicidal thoughts.
In a suicidal crisis, the person is in a state of confusion. Encourage them to express their feelings and ask about recent events. Talk with the person about what is wrong, what is hurting him or her the most. It is important not to moralize, trivialize or minimize. Remember that the person’s problem is so bad that he or she wants to take his or her own life.
4. Acknowledge your limitations and never promise to keep the secret, but promise to be discreet.
Don’t keep the secret of their suicidal intentions to yourself. Call 1-866-APPELLE to receive support from counsellors who can also follow-up with the person concerned. Check with the person to see if they are comfortable with receiving help. This will allow you not to deal with the situation alone and will give you the opportunity to pass the torch when you feel more tired.
5. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from professional organizations.
Don’t let discomfort or embarrassment prevent you from directly validating your concerns. Asking about a person’s condition is first and foremost a demonstration of how important they are to us. For more information, questions or for help, call 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553).
24/24 RESPONSE LINE | 1-866 APPELLE (277-3553)
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NEED HELP? Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Toll free throughout Quebec 1 866 APPELLE (277-3553)
Local calls within the Laurentians 450 569-0101