Suicide thoughts, attempts, and deaths affect us all. It can be hard to talk about because of feelings of fear, shame, and guilt. Let’s talk about it.
Together, we can prevent suicide. REACH stands for recognize, engage, ask, connect, and heal.
Use the REACH pathway to help your friend, coworker, or family member.
Learn about warning signs for suicide. People who are thinking of suicide can often show signs. They may:
Learn more by reading Warning Signs of Suicide. If you’re worried and you notice that your family member, friend, or coworker is acting differently, talk to them.
Talk with the person you’re worried about. Listen to their story with empathy.
Continue to check back with them on an agreed upon time and respect their boundaries.
Be clear and direct. Ask, “Are you thinking of suicide?”
If the answer is no, you can still help connect them to support and resources if they are struggling. Talk to them again later. A no can change into a yes.
You don’t need to have all the answers.
Help support your family member, friend, or coworker in other areas of their life. Cook and eat healthy meals together, go on walks with them, or do activities together that are pleasant or meaningful to them.
The best way to be able to help someone is to take care of yourself.
Recognize when you’re not feeling yourself. Take time to use healthy coping strategies for yourself. Reach out for support when you need to.
Current as of: September 2, 2021
Author: Injury Prevention, Alberta Health Services
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