Disclaimer: If the links below don’t work, and you are not sure what to do, especially if you’re not sure if your partner is safe–call 911. They will ask you questions over the phone, and send someone trained to assess your partner (friend, family member). If the dispatch operator minimizes the signs, but your gut is telling you your partner needs help–insist on it.
HELP! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, HOW DO I HELP MY PARTNER?
Are you concerned about your partner, friend, family member and you don’t know what to do? The following are helpful links for partners, friends, family members.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline At the top right hand corner of the site–there is a 1-800 number. The page says, “It can be scary when a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. It’s hard to know how a suicidal crisis feels and how to act. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help if a friend is struggling….Never keep it a secret if a friend tells you about a plan to hurt themselves. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) so that you can find out what resources are available in your area, or encourage your loved one to call. Calls are routed to the Lifeline center closest to your area code that can provide you with local resources.”
The link provides a chat button, in the same location as the phone number. There’s also a list of warning signs.
Even if you’re afraid to call, afraid of your partner’s reactions, not sure if it’s really a crisis—CALL. You and your partner are not objective enough to make decisions regarding your partner’s safety. Why–(1) because you’re too close to the situation/person and when we are anxious, are thinking brain is not working optimally. So you need a third party to make the assessment. (2) Take the responsibility of making a mental health assessment off your hands and give it to the people who are trained to do so.
YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Living with, dealing with a person that struggles with depression, and suicidal thoughts, and gestures is hard. It’s sad, scary, confusing, frustrating, irritating, and depleting. You need someone to hear you and come alongside you. Ask for recommendations from your friends and family . You can also contact your health insurance provider for a list of names of mental health practitioners. The following are links to find a therapist near you.
IS THERE HOPE FOR A BETTER LIFE
For me getting professional help was a life changer. I am a different person, stronger, healthier, confident. It was the best thing I did for myself, for my marriage, for my family. What we had wasn’t a marriage. It was an unhealthy codependent relationship. Dave and I are both better people. Our marriage is better. It wasn’t easy. There were some extremely painful traumatic events that were endured even when they seemed unendurable. It took years of processing and retraining deeply entrenched thought patterns, beliefs, actions on both Dave’s and my part.
Hopefully our changes took place early enough to impact our daughter Beth’s life for the long term. But I understand that some of what she witnessed and the tension that she lived in for so long–may arise in the future. But for now I see an angry, teen, changed into a confident, happy near-adult.
I encourage you to seek professional help. Suicide–is one problem that in my opinion, needs trained assistance. It’s life or death. And that kind of burden shouldn’t be on your shoulders alone.