Understanding and recognising the warning signs of depression and suicidal behaviour are helpful in preventing suicide. The following answers to important questions can help you understand suicide and take steps to stop it.
What kind of questions can you ask someone if you are worried about their mental health?
- Here are some questions you can ask:
- “You seem really depressed lately – how are you handling that? Getting help?”
- “Do you think about hurting yourself?”
- “What do you think about your future?”
- “Are you feeling hopeless?”
- “Have you thought about doing something about that?”
- In general, ask to learn if the person could be a danger to him- or herself.
What if you are not sure what to make of the answer, or the person is resisting help?
- If you are in relationship with someone and you are fearful they might hurt themselves, tell them so. You can say,
- “I am worried about you.”
- “I care about you.”
- “I am scared you may be thinking of hurting yourself because…”
- Tell your loved one why you are worried. Listen. Offer to help them get support. Remind them they are not alone, you care!
- Call a therapist as soon as possible. You will need support to take good care of yourself and your loved one. Your loved one will need help to evaluate and treat their depression. You may not be able to see the therapist right away, but your call will help you get the support you need.
- If you see warning signs of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline .
If you ask someone “Have you thought about hurting yourself?” and the answer is yes, can you believe the answer?
- I would urge you to believe the answer. They are telling you they need help!