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.
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.)
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:
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:
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:
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.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.