.with the tragic news of former defense secretary angelo reyes' self-inflicted death, gma network interviewed me on the topic of "suicide" for their breaking news.
i won't get into details about what i mentioned in the interview, but i'd like to offer you some tips on what to do in case you encounter a friend or loved one who is suicidal:
- take your suicidal friend or loved one seriously. many suicidal people are ambivalent about dying so they express their suicidal thoughts as a cry for help. be calm; listen to what s/he has to say; don't be judgmental or belittle his/her feelings.
- find out more about the person's suicidality. ask her/him how s/he plans to do it. ask whether s/he's attempted suicide before. inquire about the current situations that triggered the suicidal thoughts. ask whether s/he hears voices (auditory hallucinations) which tell him/her to do it.
- empathize with the person's distress. offer them reasons to go on living. offer them suggestions on how to cope. encourage them to seek professional help immediately.
- don't leave your friend alone. if you have to leave, make sure someone's with him/her.
- never keep it a secret. inform his/her parents as soon as possible. your suicidal friend may think that you betrayed him/her, but by informing the parents, you would have saved his/her life.
- get counseling for yourself. you surely will need emotional detox after interacting with a suicidal person.