Suicide Prevention & Support

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14 tips for supporting individuals who are having suicidal thoughts

  • 1. Allow the individual to express their thoughts freely. Offer non-judgmental support.
  • 2. Share grounding techniques. Grounding tools can be found at

http://peirsac.org/peirsacui/er/educational_resources10.pdf

  • 3. Support the individual in developing a safety plan. Safety plan template can be found

http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/SafetyPlanTemplate.pdf

  • 4. Support radical acceptance. Relay that acceptance of the thought and allowance of the thought can help ease suffering. The 2nd edition of Marsha M. Linehan’s DBT Skills Training includes worksheets and handouts on radical acceptance which can be photocopied. You can order the book from www.guilford.com/linehan
  • 5. Keep your voice calm and present a calm demeanor.
  • 6. Avoid statements that will cause the individual to feel guilt (example: “How could you do that to your family?”)
  • 7. Encourage use of support groups (example: DBSA ( Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance) )
  • 8. Provide consistent follow-up until they express they do not need the level of support you have been providing.
  • 9. Encourage the individual to choose support people who can have a calm conversation with them when they need to talk about suicidal thoughts.
  • 10. Validate how important it is to say it out loud. Saying it out loud diminishes the power the suicidal thoughts have.
  • 11. Listen, listen, listen. Be with the person even if the conversation is uncomfortable.
  • 12. Encourage the individual to use what has worked for them in the past; remind them that they are the experts on themselves.
  • 13. Affirm they are valuable to you and you believe that they can get better.
  • 14. Offer words of encouragement (example: “I am here beside you to walk through this with you”).

New Hampshire

  • NH Survivor of Suicide Loss Support Groups, Becky McEnany, 603-225-5359
    • Email: bmcenany@naminh.org
    • There are many support groups across New Hampshire for those who have lost a family member or friend to suicide. Some groups are peer-facilitated and others are led by professional counselors, all are comprised of fellow survivors who can offer great comfort through conversation and discussion of issues unique to bereavement of suicide. There are also general grief support groups for both adults and children that are not specific to suicide but address issues of grief and loss. Internet support groups offer another option for people who live in rural areas or prefer tapping into support from home or at different hours.
  • Camp Kita Program for Children Survivors of Loved One's Suicide
    • Camp Kita, a one week summer camp program for children ages 8-17 who've lost a loved one to suicide, was established in 2013 by the Mosher siblings, many years after losing their father to suicide. Camp Kita offers a great balance of traditional camp activities - cabins, canoes, campfires and fun - with support sessions throughout the week to connect, learn about and talk about being a suicide survivor and process grief as a community with professional facilitators and the Mosher siblings as adult role models. Through diligent fundraising and generous, enthusiastic supporters, we are able to offer our grief support program free of charge. See website for information and to apply.
  • Compassionate Friends of the Upper Valley, Norwich, VT
    • Lisa Olney, (603) 353-9240, tcfuppervalley@gmail.com
    • When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. This group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Norwich Public Library.
  • Upper Valley Survivors of Suicide, Lebanon, NH
    • Michael Whitman, (603) 795-4435, or Mary-Anne Johnson, (802) 484-7719
    • This support group is for those who have lost a family member, relative or friend to suicide. The Upper Valley Survivors of Suicide meet on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at DHMC.
  • Victims Inc, 603-335-7777
    • Email: pat_rainboth@victimsinc.org
    • Victims Inc provides individuals who are specially trained to assist survivors of a sudden and traumatic death. They are sometimes able to provide immediate in-home support (especially in the Rochester/Seacoast area) to families dealing with the suicide of a loved one. They also sponsor a weekend overnight grief camp for children ages 6-15 in Rochester called Camp Purple Parachute.

Vermont

  • Compassionate Friends of the Upper Valley, Norwich, VT
    • Lisa Olney, (603) 353-9240, tcfuppervalley@gmail.com
    • When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. This group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Norwich Public Library.
  • Vermont Suicide Prevention Center, 802-254-6590
    • Email: info@healthandlearning.org
    • The Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) is working in partnership with the Center for Health and Learning (CHL) to continue the development of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center (VT-SPC), a state-wide resource fostering a sustainable approach to suicide prevention in Vermont. The existing body of advisors and stakeholders for the VT-SPC is the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition (VSPC). This coalition represents a broad array of constituents, including state and private agencies, institutions of higher education, a variety of professions, and survivors of suicide. Its Mission: To create health promoting communities in which schools, Institutions of Higher Education, public and private agencies and people of all ages have the knowledge, attitudes, skills and resources to reduce the risk for suicide. Its Purpose: To support state-wide suicide prevention efforts and help local communities implement the recommendations of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Platform using data-driven evidence-based practices.


Regional and National

  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), 877-438-7772
    • Location: 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453
    • The SPRC provides prevention support, training and resources to assist organizations and individuals develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
  • Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
    • The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Their website includes information about resources that might be of help in suicide prevention.