How to talk with your loved one about suicide

How to talk with your loved one about suicide

(KFVS) - Experts say the number of suicides have increased by 24 percent in the last decade.

So, how do you talk to your loved one if they approach you about suicide?

Dayna Cookson at the Bootheel Counseling Center said families sometimes believe their blindsided, but the signs may be right in front of your eye.

"I think so many times we're just not looking and we never think our loved one will get to that point," Cookson said.

Therapist said being direct with a loved one is the best way to understand their problems.

"People are scared to say, 'Are you having thoughts of suicide?'" she said. "I think people are scared of what they might hear or what the answer is."

Experts say you shouldn't fear the answer and offer these tips if a loved one comes to you to talk about suicide.

  • Don't Panic – The loved one chose you and is trusting you'll stay calm and talk them through their struggles
  • Be straight forward – Asking direct questions will not plant the idea in their head, instead bring it out the true underlying cause
  • Look for clues

"People won't come out and say 'hi I want to kill myself today,'" Cookson said. "So a big clue might be 'I have nothing to live for, I think my children will be better off if I were gone, there's nothing good in my future, no reason to go on' those type of subtle clues are a big one. That's the time to be direct and say 'is this what you're thinking about.'"

If you know anyone dealing thinking about suicide, pass along the 24-hour suicide prevention hotline 1 (800) 273-8255.

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