Suicidal thoughts and feelings can be tough to handle, not only for those struggling with them but also for their loved ones. If your partner is feeling suicidal, it's essential to know how to offer support without being judgmental. Dating and relationship coach Leigh-Joy Mansel-Pleydell offers seven ways to help support a suicidal partner.
Seek professional support
Leigh-Joy recommends seeking professional support for both you and your partner. Encouraging your partner to seek professional help offers them a safe space to share how they feel and get guidance from a trained expert. However, you should also take care of your mental health by seeking professional support yourself.
Don't isolate your loved one
Isolation can worsen suicidal feelings, so it's vital to keep your partner engaged and connected. Reach out to family and friends who are kind and understanding, and take your partner out for a walk or coffee, anything that breaks the monotony of their regular routine.
Talk to your children
Your children can sense changes in the mood and energy of your home. It's essential to let them know that their parent is having a tough time making sense of some thoughts and feelings. Children must understand that the struggles are temporary and that you are working as a team to overcome them.
Don't judge your loved one
Your partner is struggling with life questions that they can't figure out on their own right now. It's essential to provide them with an empathetic ear and offer support without passing judgment. Let them know that you are there for them and that you love them unconditionally.
Seek support groups
There are several support groups for families and loved ones of people dealing with mental health issues. Consider joining a support group to connect with other people facing similar struggles. Contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) to find a support group near you.
Take care of yourself
Taking care of your mental health is essential when your partner is struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings. It's crucial to find support and self-care elsewhere if you feel overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Speak to a therapist or engage in activities that bring you joy.
Accept your loved one's life is their gift
Your partner's life is their gift, and ultimately, they get to choose what they want to do with it. You cannot control their actions or thoughts. Accepting this fact can help you offer support without trying to control their behavior.
In conclusion, supporting a suicidal partner can be challenging, but it's vital to offer them a non-judgmental ear, encourage them to seek professional help, and take care of your mental health. Connect with other support groups to gain strength from others facing similar challenges.
Thank you for the reminder that we need to be supportive and nonjudgmental when encouraging our loved ones who are struggling with suicidal thoughts.