Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Helping a Suicidal Friend

If your friend is displaying signs of hopelessness or despair, there are some key elements you should consider when trying to help him or her:

1. A word of caution
Thoughts of suicide and the conditions or attitudes that provoke them in a young person's life are serious business. You would be wise to seek the counsel, encouragement and prayer support even if you feel very confident to minister to him or her. If you do not feel confident in this situation, ask a mature Christian counselor, leader or minister to help you.

2. Provide a caring relationship for your friend
People who entertain passing thoughts of suicide usually feel very alone inside. Whether they are social loners or very socially active, they often hurt for lack of someone who cares deeply about them. For example, problems at home with parents or the death of a friend can leave a person feeling unwanted, abandoned or very alone. And someone who is alone and feeling unloved can easily begin to feel that he or she is just taking up space.

3. Be there
The most important thing you can share with someone battling the despair of loneliness is yourself, but their problems usually cause them to pull away. Take the initiative for deepening the relationship. If you are committed to helping your friend move beyond thoughts of suicide, it may cost you some time and energy as you seek to meet his or her need for love and friendship.

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