Every attempt of suicide or death by suicide affects countless loved ones, coworkers, and friends who are impacted by the long lasting consequences. One suicide is one suicide too many. Whether you are a family member, a contractor, the newest trainee or the most senior individual in your unit, everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention.
Remember to use the acronym A-C-E.
Ask – Asking questions will not drive someone to suicide but, instead, it will give them a chance to open up about how they are feeling. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions: “Are you thinking of hurting yourself” or “Are you thinking of taking your own life?” In addition, if you are struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength, resilience, and a step towards recovery.
Care – You don’t need special training to safely talk to an individual about suicide risk or to show genuine compassion to someone in need. Simple everyday connections can make a big difference to someone feeling isolated or having thoughts of harming themselves. Be sure to show you care by showing positive support and helping them understand that they are not alone in the way that they are feeling. One act of kindness makes a difference and it’s that one act that often goes on to save a life.
Escort – If someone you know is showing risk factors for increased potential to end their life, offer to escort them to the nearest hospital or mental health building. If relocating is not an option, offer to stay with them until help arrives. Seeking help can often be intimidating and having a familiar face nearby will allow them the moral support to take the next important steps.
Everyone plays a role in suicide prevention. Remember: Ask, Care, and Escort – you could be saving a life. If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction, depression, or thoughts of self-harm please contact the Suicide Prevention LIfeline at 1-800-273-8255 or Text 741741. It’s an emergency contact local law enforcement by dialing 911.