How to Offer Support

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We provide targeted care for pediatric, adult and geriatric patients. Call 800-825-9989 or 310-825-9989 to learn more about our psychiatry services. 

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.

Check-in Plan

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. 

Safety Plan

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.

Coping Skills


  • deep breathing, imagery, prayer, meditation


  • walking, swimming, hiking, jogging

Pleasant Activities

  • reading, crafting, journaling, listening to music, cooking, or gardening

Engage the senses

  • aromatherapy, 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.

Sleep Hygiene

  • 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).


What to Say and What Not to Say

Provide Validation

What to say: "I hear you when you say you want to die, that you feel this will never get better."

What not to say: "Why would you want to throw your life away?"

Show Empathy

What to say: "I can imagine how terrible that feels." 

What not to say: "I've been through hard times and I'd never think about hurting myself."

Offer Reassurance

What to say: "Was there ever a time you didn't feel this bad? I believe you will feel that way again."

What not to say: "You'll get over it." or "This is just a phase." or "You're being dramatic."

Provide Support

What to say: “I'm going to be here to help you. You are not alone."            

What not to say: "Why would you do this to our family?”

Caregiver Support

  •  Be sure you are taking care of yourself.
  • Consider speaking to a professional mental health provider.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness:
  • offers family to family education and support groups. These groups focus on the effect mental illness has on the family unit. They are designed to support the family members of someone living with a mental illness.