The mother of my high school best friend called me to tell me what happened to Jill. We met in high school, and I must say that we have been together through thick and thin. We just lost touch when they moved to Denver following the job promotion of her mom. It may have been tough on Jill. She would often message me to meet up, but I haven’t got the chance because of the demands of college. Now, I got a frightening call from her mother saying that Jill is in bad shape and would only talk to me. The parents of Jill picked me up at the airport and spoke to me about the condition of Jill. I did not expect to hear that she is hurting herself. It is very far from the cheerful girl I met in high school. I could not believe my eyes. Her parents asked me to talk to Jill and to help them to get through to her. I just said I would do whatever I can. I am only a sophomore in my Psychology course and can only talk to Jill as a friend, though I wish I could do more. I called my mom about the situation, and she reassured me that I could only be there to be her friend. I should not worry about giving the right advice. Just a listening ears and a kind heart should do. Jill’s parents brought me to her house. As I came in, I was surprised with the mess. I even saw crawling pests around. Her parents explained that Jill doesn’t want anything to be touched. So, I ignored everything and just hugged Jill when I saw her sitting in the dining room. We were both in tears. I am hurt as much as she is hurt. She just told me that her fiancé broke their engagement. She is utterly devastated and said that she no longer have any motivation to live. I was surprised that she didn’t tell me she is already engaged but I did not push on the subject. I just listened to her and be the crying shoulder that she needs. After she had talked, it was my moment to tell her that I am always her friend and even though we are apart, I care for her deeply. I even encouraged her to come with me to university so she can continue her studies. I am happy to see the twinkle in her eyes come back at the prospect of having her life back. I took that queue to tell her that her parents are waiting for her and are so worried. In jest, I also mentioned that her house needs to have a major cleaning. We just laughed as if nothing happened. She had a heartfelt talk with her parents while I call the pest control to do something about the roaches and ants all over the pest. These guys were kind enough to come at short notice. I was able to do some clean-up as well. I am relieved that everything turned out well. I was unprepared to deal with that event, but if you have a loved one who is showing a suicidal tendency, here are some ways to show that you care.
- Never leave the person alone especially if your loved one seems to be resolved at what he is planning to do.
- Voice out your concern and provide words of encouragement.
- Listen and try to understand the problem at the person’s point of view.
- Never judge and choose your words carefully when you talk to your loved one.
It is also important to suggest that outside intervention be sought. You can tell them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to help them cope and get through their crisis. They might refuse this idea but still write down the number so that your loved one can call the hotline when he is ready. Never ignore a call for help or signs of suicide crisis experienced by your loved one. They need our support and help to get through this stage.