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You Can Prevent Suicide This Holiday Season

For some, the holidays are a time of joy. For others, it’s a time where mental health is a true challenge. Feeling alone or remembering loved ones who have passed can bring about feelings of helplessness, and even thoughts of suicide. In fact, instances of suicide are highest just after the holiday season.

It doesn’t have to be that way. At Community Health Network we offer QPR suicide prevention training. Just like CPR, QPR can save a life this holiday season.

QPR Step 1: Question

If you think someone you know is having a tough time this season, don’t just wonder about it. Here are a few ways to ask the important question, either directly or indirectly:

  • Do you ever wish you could fall asleep and never wake up?
  • Have you been very unhappy lately? Are you so unhappy that you’ve been thinking about ending your life?
  • When people are as upset as you seem to be, they sometimes wish they were dead. I’m wondering if you feel that way as well?
  • Are you having thoughts about suicide?

How you ask is less important than the fact that you asked at all. Starting the conversation is the first step on the path to hope.

QPR Step 2: Persuade

Nobody should feel alone during the holidays, especially if they’re having thoughts of suicide. Being there for your friend or loved one can make all the difference. Once you’ve asked the question about suicide, let your friend or loved one talk freely. Give them your full attention, and as much time as they need.

When someone is thinking about suicide, they need any glimmer of hope to stay safe. Tell them that you want them to live, and that you’re here to help. Here’s what you can say:

  • Will you go with me to get help?
  • Will you let me help you get help?

Suicidal people often believe that they can’t be helped. Stay with them and know where to turn for the assistance of an expert.

QPR Step 3: Refer

The best referral for someone thinking about suicide is to take them directly to someone who can help. This isn’t always easy, especially during the holidays, but there are ways you can make a difference in the moment.

No matter what day or hour, help is available. You can sit with them while they call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text IN to 471471 for a text hotline.

Learn more about QPR Suicide Prevention training. You can learn how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to offer hope to someone and how to get help and save a life.