Suicide: What can relatives do?

By acting as soon as you perceive any warning signs of suicide, you may be able to save a life!

Do not hesitate to speak to an expert (psychologist, therapist, doctor, psychiatric emergency service) when you think someone in your circle might be suicidal.

A posteriori, people who had thought about suicide are usually relieved that someone has intervened to stop them.

Even if it seems difficult: when you have the impression that someone around you is seriously considering suicide, you should approach the subject directly with her and ask her if she has suicidal thoughts.

A few tips :

  • Avoid blame or morality.
  • Show that you are taking the person seriously rather than trying to minimize the situation ("it's okay") to make it less dramatic.
  • Even if the person concerned seems inaccessible or "hostile" to you: do not leave her alone in this situation and show her that you are present and ready to help her.

A suicide is never a last minute decision: 8 out of 10 suicides are "announced" beforehand. Do not take lightly statements or signs indicating a possible suicide .

Mourning relatives

Suicide (or attempted suicide) also affects the loved ones of the suicide (or suicidal person).

Family, partner, friends or simple acquaintances: suicide often provokes a shock for those around them who have a lot of trouble managing this situation. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that suicide - or attempted suicide - impacts and shakes the lives of at least 6 other people.

A close person committed suicide or attempted to kill himself? Ask for help or support to handle the situation! Psychologists, therapists or counselors can accompany and guide you to overcome this difficult moment. Sometimes sharing your experience in a self-help group can also help.

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