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Supporting a Loved One in Crisis

If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

When we have loved ones struggling with addiction, mental illness or any other kind of crisis, we often don’t know how to be of help. We want to support them and show them we love them, but we’re afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, or of being too eager or pushy and accidentally pushing them away. We’re afraid that because we might not fully understand the situation, or because we don’t have personal experience with it, we won’t know how to help. We don’t want to cause our loved ones any more pain than they’re already experiencing, and because their health is already fragile and in a precarious state, we’re afraid that anything we say or do might worsen things for them somehow. As a result, many of us don’t do anything. Our fear paralyzes us into inaction, and it might appear that we don’t care when we really do. There are a few things we can do to support a loved one in crisis.

Reach Out 

We want to try and move through our fears and extend a helping hand, even if we’re feeling nervous, intimidated, confused or overwhelmed. We don’t have to know how to solve the problem, and we don’t have to understand everything that’s going on, we just want to tell our loved ones that we care and that we’re here for them. Try calling or texting with a simple, “I love you, I’m here for you. What can I do?” Sometimes when we say things like “Let me know if I can do anything,” that puts the ball in their court to reach out to us, but more often than not, they won’t feel up for it. They won’t want to impose or inconvenience you, or they might be too depressed to reach out. When we ask questions like “What can I do?” it gives our loved ones a chance to think of something that might help them, in that moment, and we’re given a chance to be able to come through for them.

Be Consistent 

A loved one’s addictive patterns and mental health issues might make them inconsistent and unreliable, and they can cause them to isolate themselves, so don’t expect them to contact you if they want to talk or need help with anything. Take it upon yourself to make yourself available. This gesture of compassion can mean the world to those in crisis. It can remind them they’re not alone, and that there is someone who loves and cares enough to want to be there for them.

Encourage your loved ones to seek out help, to start seeing a therapist, or to check into rehab. If they’re showing signs of suicidal thoughts or ideation, give them the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.