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I have worked periodically on a crisis line for the past 9 years and during this time, in which I have interfaced with others I have had one experience when I had to work diligently to create a verbal suicide contract with a person who felt there was no reason to continue living. It is scary to be in the sidelines of another person suffering hopelessness but thank goodness this individual was able to reach out for help.
Basically I worked to calm the individual down, inquire about things in his life that might inspire the caller to pick life over death like the need to take care of his pet otherwise, who else will do it? He might not of cared enough about his life in that moment but the fact that something else depends on him, is something to get him thinking about life over death.
I convinced the caller to take things one minute at a time and to reach out again should thoughts of hurting himself surface. We talked about ways this person could channel his anxiety and self-expression and we discussed local supports like his parents, his church, and the suicide hotline. Of course I gave him local resources and tried to convince him of the need to go into counseling and/or to the doctor for help.
Although I felt scared for the person, I was relieved he asked for help. I was not able to get contact information in order to send the police to him for a welfare check because the he refused to provide this information but I do feel like we made headway regardless.
The message I am trying to convey is to get involved with the people who are in your circle or who touch it in any way; you might just save a life by doing so!
If you’re feeling suicidal please call the suicide hotline for help. Your life is worth this call!