How you can save someone from suicide
Should you observe a person close to you experiencing deep sadness that affects normal activity such as work, concentration, eating, sleeping, conversation or socialising or overly sensitive, then he or she could be in danger of committing suicide.
It is important to ask direct questions as it may help them open up and deal with the underlying causes. The questions, according to Mayo Clinic, include:
• How are you coping with what’s been happening in your life?
• Do you ever feel like just giving up?
• Are you thinking about dying?
• Are you thinking about hurting yourself?
• Are you thinking about suicide?
• Have you ever thought about suicide before, or tried to harm yourself before?
• Have you thought about how or when you’d do it?
• Do you have access to weapons or things that can be used as weapons to harm yourself?
How to help in case of a suicide attempt
If you establish that a person is about to commit suicide or is in the process then act fast, it is an emergency!
• Discourage them from suicide
• Express love and kindness as may be appropriate
• Remove any weapons, chemicals or implements such as ropes, belts on or near them
• If you can, move them from heights, highways, or other places from where they hat they can take a plunge.
• If they are in the process, negotiate with them to stop and buy time till help comes
• Use force to break doors or remove any suicide agents that may be used
• Get immediate help to physically restrain the person
• Call for ambulance or fire brigade or police as means of last resort
• Call a counsellor for help, even if on telephone
• Call a suicide hotline such as Befrienders 0722178177 Kenya Red Cross 1199 or 0700395395.
• Take the person to a health facility and give details of any agents used
• When the threat is over help them to receive professional counselling and mental health care and deal with their causative issues and factors.
• If helping a suicidal person caused you emotional distress, seek counselling services for yourself.
Tim Kamau Ngotho is a Coach, Psychologist & Psychometrist