How to Help a Young Adult Loved One After a Suicide Attempt

  • Posted at Feb 27, 2023
  • Written by Rebecca
How to Help a Young Adult Loved One After a Suicide Attempt

Loving a young person who is struggling with depression and has attempted suicide is shattering and challenging. When you learn of a loved one’s suicide attempt, you may feel overwhelmed, scared, shocked, and even angry. But, overall, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to assist your loved one in any way. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to support a young adult loved one who has experienced a suicide attempt. Additionally, there are things you can do for yourself to ensure that you’re making your mental health a priority as well.

What to do During an Emergency Self-Harm Crisis

If you find that a young adult loved one reaches out to you in times of crisis and they are either considering a suicide attempt or have survived a suicide attempt, it’s crucial to get them to help immediately. This means calling 911 or another emergency service in order to have medical professionals assess the situation as soon as possible. And, provide emergency medical services in order to ensure that they are safe. When emergency personnel arrives at the scene, it can be helpful for you to be there in order to provide them with information including:

-any medications your loved one is using
-if your loved one has underlying medical or mental health conditions
-illicit/addictive substances your loved one may be using
-any suicide notes or preparations your loved one may have conducted beforehand
-risks for suicide that you know of (trauma, abuse, etc.)

How You Can Help After a Self-Harm Crisis

After your loved one has gotten help through emergency crisis services, your young adult loved one will have to focus on remaining mentally stable in order to avoid a future self-harm crisis. After a crisis, there are some things you can do to help your loved one including:

  • giving them a safe and supportive person that will always listen to them without judgment.
  • providing them with professional resources including therapy or treatment services at a place like Yellowbrick.
  • removing assets that can encourage self-harm including weapons, pills, etc.
  • determine a safety plan in the event of a future self-harm crisis.

How You Can Help Your Adult Loved One Long Term After a Self-Harm Crisis

People who have attempted suicide in the past can benefit from long-term planning in order to encourage safety. Some of the things you can do to encourage long-term mental well-being include:

  • encouraging your loved one to continue with therapy and treatment
  • remind your loved one that you are always there for support
  • let them know that they are not a burden and they are loved unconditionally
  • find support groups so that your loved one understands that they aren’t alone in their struggles
What to Avoid After a Young Adult Loved One’s Self-Harm Crisis

While there are a number of things you can do to support a young adult loved one who has struggled with depression and experienced a self-harm crisis, there are also some things that you should avoid including:

  • use hysterics – while it is valid to experience a number of feelings like fear and anger after a loved one has attempted suicide, it’s important not to panic and remember that safety is a priority
  • avoidance – suicide attempts should never be ignored and help should be sought immediately, even if your loved one doesn’t agree
  • judge – attempting suicide may have been your loved one’s lowest point in their life, so you should never judge them for this decision or make the experience even more difficult by appointing shame or guilt
  • be alone – you’re going to need help on the journey of supporting your loved one, so remember that it’s best to reach out to professionals for this support

Getting Help at Yellowbrick

If you have a young adult loved one in your life who has survived a self-harm crisis, Yellowbrick is here to help. We help young adults and their families who are struggling with mental health issues, including depression, self-harm, and suicide. Find out more about our programs and services on our website.

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