This post is more focused on distracting an individual’s suicidal thoughts, opposed to emergency medical treatment for suicide.
If you’re concerned about your own or someone else’s safety, please call your local emergency response number and/or a mental health helpline.
When you’re battling mental illness, especially depression, there is a possibility that the idea of suicide might seem like the only way out. I believe that most people desire the concept of not living anymore, however, can’t commit themselves to the act. I hope in writing this post that it can provide a useful guide on how to take care of yourself or someone you know during a dark period of suicidal thoughts.
Let someone know what is going on
Having an individual, either a friend or family member, being aware of your thoughts is beneficial as it provides an emotional outlet. It also makes it easier to start a conversation when needed with your friend/family, as they would be up to date and previously informed of the state. It also provides a second opinion on the matter, and they can help find professional help if you’re unwilling to and you are in danger of yourself.
Have a ‘No Harm’ contract in place
It might sound juvenile, and unfortunately isn’t always a promised guard, but it can make you think twice before committing to an irreversible act. The concept behind these types of contracts is to discuss and have an agreement with a suicidal individual that puts in place a robust stabilisation means, that seconds one’s thoughts.
Here is a free downloadable ‘No Harm Contract‘ that you can use for yourself.
Read or make your suicide prevention letter
There are some letters and letter templates on the internet that their sole purpose is to be read in dire situations when suicidal thoughts are present. Some letters are written by those who have attempted suicide and are writing to other suicidal people, others writing to themselves to be read in the future. Reading a various amount of letters can be done instantly in situations, however, if you want to try this method and write a letter for yourself, do so ahead of time; it is ideal to do this when you’re in a positive mindset, as you are convincing yourself not to commit suicide.
Here are some letters that are resourceful:
Another suicide prevention letter that I find useful is one where I wrote back to a suicidal me, from the-then present time me.
Check out the Letter From My Suicidal Self to see what I wrote.
Distraction is key and there are many ways to do so; creatively, entertainment, physically, and reflectively.
- Write &/or draw
- Make something
- Bake or cook
- Watch your favourite shows and movies
- Listen to music you know and some you don’t
- Go to see a musical or movie at a theatre
- Take a shower or bath
- Do a workout &/or go to the gym
- Practice some meditations and mindfulness exercises: Meditations & Mindfulness Pinterest Board Here are my favourite exercises that I have saved on Pinterest, make sure to follow as new pins are saved daily!
- Think and write down all of the things you’re grateful for, appreciate, or think highly of
- List a new set of goals
Remember that you’re not alone.
Share this with anyone you think might benefit from!
I would love to hear your suggestions for things you do in these types of situations, so make sure to comment below!