Nothing hurts more than a friend dying from suicide.
A friend might feel suicidal because of mental illness or events like poverty, loss of a loved one or a job.
What should you do or say when your friend is suicidal?
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Do not joke about it or make them feel guilty for feeling that way or tell them they are ungrateful, cowardly or weak for considering suicide.
In case you have a suicidal friend, here is how to encourage them;
1. Tell them you will always be there for them
Most suicidal people feel no one cares and alone in their pain.
Invite them to share how they feel with you and listen. Do not say things like, ‘It is well’ or ‘It will be fine’ instead say ‘What can I do to make you feel better?’ or ‘I wish I had the right words.’
2. Help your friend solve at least one of their problems
You cannot solve all their problems but is there something you can do? Do something to relieve their worries.
Maybe they need some cash or they are too lazy and overwhelmed to do house chores. You can help them with laundry, send them money or a gift.
3. Tell them you don’t want them to die and you love them
Say, “I love you, please stay with me.” Reassure them of your love and tell them you do not want them to die.
4. Take them out to have fun
Depression can feel like being locked in your mind and it can make you look yourself up in your room. Going out and being in nature offers a lot of mental relief. Take them out to the beach, museums, art shows, concerts or their favourite restaurant.
5. Offer to pay for therapy
If you are sure your friend has serious mental issues, pay for one or two therapy sessions. The therapist might prescribe some drugs to make them feel better and walk them through their issues.
At the end of the day, you should not feel responsible for a friend who commits suicide because there is limit to which you can help someone, plus some people are good at hiding their depression.