After an Attempt?
After an Attempt?Published 03/04/2016
For Attempt Survivors
You may be feeling a whole host of different emotions, including embarrassed, angry, confused, exhausted and/or relieved. Most people who attempt suicide do not want to die, they want to end the emotional pain that is making their lives so miserable.
It is important to take care of yourself and build up your support and resources:
- Get professional counseling help, as well as peer-to-peer support.
- Remove the dangers in your home that could increase your risk for suicide, such as guns and excess medication – at least during this time.
- Identify what thoughts or behaviors set you off and make you think about suicide.
- Make a safety plan that includes the names of people you would call or what you would do, if/when thoughts of suicide should return.
- Make a recovery plan that includes ways to build healthy coping skills, strengthen relationships and manage stressors.
- Think about what you want to say about your suicide attempt and who you are willing to tell – consider what questions you will answer and which ones you won’t.
For Families/Friends of an Attempt Survivor
It is not uncommon to have lots of questions after a suicide attempt of a loved one, including “Can I trust her to stay safe?” “Will it happen again?” “Why didn’t he talk with me instead of hurting himself?”
It is important to take care of yourself and your loved one and build up your support and resources:
- Safety is now the priority.
- Encourage your loved one to get professional counseling help and peer-to-peer support
- Develop a support network for yourself.
- Remove – or lock up – dangers in your home, such as guns and excess medications that could interfere with your loved one’s safety. Take a look at these guidelines from Texas for Creating a Safe Home.
- Think about how you want to talk with friends and family about your loved one’s suicide attempt – consider what questions you will answer and which ones you won’t.
- After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department (SAMHSA)
- Guiding Their Way Back (Beyond Blue) This is an excellent document, but ignore the Australian resources.
- How to Talk to a Child After a Suicide Attempt in Your Family Age-appropriate text and videos from Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention