Ways to Offer Support
Enlist support of their mental health treatment team. Have contact numbers to the psychiatrist and therapist available. Ensure that the treatment team is aware that you've noticed an increase in warning signs or symptoms.
Make a check-in plan. Determine how frequently you will check-in with your loved one, how you will contact them (in person, by phone) and at what time of the day they should expect this communication. Stick to the agreement. Structure can help your loved one feel safe, and knowledge that support is on the way can help your loved one fee connected. When you follow through with your agreement, you show your loved one that you are dependable and that you care.
Help them develop their safety plan on paper or the My3 app on a smartphone. Keep a copy of your loved one's suicide safety plan nearby. Familiarize yourself with your loved one's unique signs and symptoms. Have a plan of who they will call for help.
Remind them that help is available, and that you are there to support them.
Encourage coping skills.
- deep breathing
- listening to music
Engage the senses
- take a warm shower or bath
- squeeze a stress ball
- Increase Socialization
Spend time with family, friends, or pets. Connectedness is a protective factor against suicide.
Regular sleep is an important part of recovery. Have a regular bedtime and wake time and stick to it. Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes. Avoid caffeine after noon.
Follow up and self-care
Take medications as directed.
Avoid alcohol and drugs (other than those that your doctor has prescribed).