There are a number of factors that can help to reduce the risk of suicide. Having a connection with a Health Care System and knowing where to find immediate support when needed. Support systems include family and community. We shouldn't wait for a crisis to occur to form a supportive community. It should already be in place and available. If community support isn't available, having a positive relationship with a 'helper' can provide the necessary support.
Recognizing that help is needed and already having strong coping skills are important, as is a sense of purpose. For some, having religious or ethical beliefs that prohibit suicide reduce the risk. Planning for the future and seeing hope in the future are also important.
And when there's the potentiality suicide, a built-in rescue plan set up in advance can provide the needed resources to head it off .
In addition to the above, an important ally for youth is the presence of a Gay-Straight Alliance [GLSEN] within the school.
How to deal with a Potential Suicide
If you are concerned about the seriousness of the person you're listening to, consider asking these Specific Suicide Risk Assessment Questions
At this point, the suicidal person needs you to be accepting and non-judgmental. He or she should be taken seriously. You should be confident and positive in your comments. As soon as possible, you should begin to mobilize resources and seek professional help
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The information provided by Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc. is for educational purposes only and is not intended to render medical advice or professional services. The information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease and is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your healthcare provider.
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These materials were produced through a grant from the New York State Department of Health.
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