POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 87 Preventing Suicide continued What can I do if I experience thoughts of suicide? Thoughts of suicide are distressing. It’s important to talk about your experiences with your doctor, mental health care team, or any other person you trust. They can help you learn skills to cope and connect you to useful groups or resources. Some people find it helpful to schedule frequent appointments with care providers or request phone support. Other things that you can do include: o Calling a crisis telephone support line o Connecting with family, friends, or a support group. It can be helpful to talk with others who have experienced thoughts of suicide to learn about their coping strategies If you’re in crisis and aren’t sure what to do, you can always call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room. Some people find a safety plan useful.A safety plan is a list of personal strategies to use if you think you are at risk of hurting or ending your life.You can create a plan on your own, with a loved one, or with your mental health care team.Your plan may include: o Activities that calm you or take your mind off your thoughts o Your own reasons for living o Key people to call if you’re worried about your safety o Phone numbers for local crisis or suicide prevention helplines o A list of safe places to go if you don’t feel safe at home How can I help a loved one? If you’re concerned about someone else, talk with them. Ask them directly if they’re thinking about suicide.Talking about suicide won’t give them the idea. If someone is seriously considering suicide, they may be relieved that they can talk about it. If someone you love says that they’re thinking about ending their life, it’s important to ask them if they have a plan. If they have a plan and intend to end their life soon, connect with crisis services or supports right away. Many areas have a crisis, distress, or suicide helpline, but you can always call 9-1-1 if you don’t know who to call. Stay with your loved one while you make the call, and don’t leave until the crisis line or emergency responders say you can leave. The two most important things you can do are listen and help them connect with mental health services. Listening Here are tips for talking with a loved one: Find a private place and let your loved one take as much time as they need. Take your loved one seriously and listen without judgement - their feelings are very real. o Find a private place and let your loved one take as much time as they need. o Take your loved one seriously and listen without judgement - their feelings are very real. o Keep your word - don’t make promise you can’t keep or don’t intend to keep. o Tell your loved one that they are important and that you care about them. Supports If your loved one already sees a doctor or other mental health service provider, it’s important that they tell their service provider about any thoughts of suicide they may have been having. Depending on your relationship, you can offer to help - by helping your loved one schedule appointments or by taking them to their appointments, for example. If your loved one doesn’t see a mental health service provider, you can give them the phone number for a local crisis line and encourage them to see their doctor. Your loved one may also be able to access services through their school, workplace, cultural or faith community. Supporting a loved one can be a difficult experience for anyone, so it’s important to take care of your own mental health during this time and seek support if you need it. Do you need more help? Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area. cmha.ca Contact the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team [MHMCT] at 1-902-429-8167 or Toll Free 1-888-429-8167 NEED HELP?