It can be very uncomfortable when a friend or family member is thinking about suicide.  What do you say? How do you say it?  What if I say something wrong?

It is normal to question yourself and your ability to help.  The thought of someone wanting to die can leave you feeling helpless, lost, or even guilty.  So what should you do?  How do you get help?  Being willing to have the hard conversation is key to helping our Marines get the help needed so they can continue to thrive.

First, be direct. Talking openly and matter-of-factly about suicide will not encourage anyone to think about killing themselves.  In fact, knowing you are talking about it openly and directly can give that person encouragement and builds hope.

Be willing to listen. Let friends or family members express themselves. Accept those feelings regardless of your personal beliefs.

Do not judge! Do not debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether they should or should not feel bad.

Be Involved. Become available. Show concern and support.

Do not be sworn to secrecy. Seek support for your fellow Marines.

Offer hope that alternatives and help are available.

Take action. Remove items, such as guns or stockpiled pills that are referred to as lethal means.

Get help from professionals specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

As uncomfortable as it can be, remember: having the hard conversation, asking someone if they feel like killing themselves, can save their life.

Suicide Prevention Outreach 2020 slogan is “Connect to Protect.” The Connect to Protect slogan emphasizes connecting with others and the community, as well as with suicide prevention resources.

It is important for each of us to focus on how we can connect to protect our Marines and Families. We have a moral duty to protect each other — now more than ever

For more information, contact your local Community Counseling Center. You can also call the Veteran’s Crisis Line at 800.273.8255, press 1. Or text 838255.