If your friend or loved one becomes withdrawn and isolated, it could be a sign that he is contemplating suicide. If he drops out of activities and stops spending time with friends, he could be trying to distance himself before he commits suicide.
There are other signs as well: changes in sleep or eating habits, diminished sex drive, low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness.
Oddly, a sudden lift of depression can also be a sign that someone is going to kill himself. Sometimes those contemplating suicide get a calm, happy feeling because they’ve finally made up their minds to do it and believe that their pain is going to end soon.What you can do
If you suspect that a friend or a loved one is contemplating suicide, there are steps you can take to help her, according to the LICC. If she is showing any of the telltale signs, ask her in a calm and non-confrontational way if she is OK. Listen to her, and be as understanding as possible. If she tells you she’s thinking of killing herself, don’t act shocked and don’t get angry.
Allow her to express her emotions. If that means yelling or crying, let her. Stop her only if she grows violent and tries to hurt herself or others.
Don’t, however, try to handle the situation by yourself. Your friend needs the help of a mental health professional. Give her the number of a suicide hotline. Let her know she’s not alone and that she can be helped.
And if someone tells you she has plans to kill herself, tell someone who can intervene. That might mean informing her parents or spouse, or even calling the police. If she asks you to keep her plans secret, don’t. You can mend a friendship, but there’s no coming back from suicide.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, there are ways you can get help. Call any of these numbers.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
• Long Island Crisis Center Suicide Hotline: (516) 679-1111
• Suicide and Crisis Response Helpline: (516) 504-HELP (4357)
Let’s Walk, Let’s Talk: Stepping Together to Prevent Suicide
Long Beach Walk to Benefit Long Island Crisis Center
Sunday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m., on the Long Beach Boardwalk.
Join the walk by calling (516) 826-0244.
Register online, make a donation or become a sponsor at www.LongIslandCrisisCenter.org