We all go through hard times, so it's important to know how to support yourself and your friends ❤️
It can be scary when a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. Unlike the common cold, you cannot see mental illness, which makes it difficult to know how to help. If you notice someone struggling with their mental health, taking action can be the difference in getting them the help they need.
You might feel unsure about how to tell if a friend is dealing with suicidal thoughts. If you notice a friend starting to talk about feelings of emptiness, hopelessness or is no longer interested in usual activities, it might be a sign to start having a conversation.
Here are some tips on how to participate in these conversations:
1. Start with an expression of care: Beginning with kindness and care shows your friends that you’re there for them.
2. Actively listen: Sometimes friends just need to get their feelings off their chest.
3. Connect them with a support system: Family, teachers and therapists are all good starting points.
4. Don’t try to solve the problem: Suicidal thoughts don’t have a quick fix, and trying to offer a quick solution, such as “try watching a happy movie” could be seen as invalidating your friend’s experience.
5. Follow up with your friend: Always follow up with your friend after talking with them. Support is not a one-time event!
6. Other helpful resources:
- If you’re worried about a friend, reporting a safety concern in-app will provide both you and your friend with resources and support on these difficult topics.
- Here For You is a tool on Snapchat which will show safety resources when you search for certain topics, including anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts and bullying.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at +1-800-273-8255 (US only).
- For an emergency, immediately call 911 (US) or 999 (UK).
While it’s important to take care of your friends struggling, it’s also important to take care of yourself! Supporting somebody through a difficult time may stir up your own emotions, and that’s completely normal. If you feel like supporting your friend is hurting your mental health, call in an adult for some extra help. You shouldn’t feel like you are in this alone, and having a support system who you can talk through your feelings with can help combat this.
Remember: Reaching out is brave! You are not alone! 💛 👫