Monday, December 7, 2009

Provide Encouragement for Your Friend

We encourage others whenever we do or say something thoughtful to lift their spirits. An example is planning to call your friend periodically just to be available and to remind them that you are thinking and praying for them. That's encouragement in action.

A friend who has had suicidal thoughts needs encouragement as much as he or she needs comfort and support. Here are a few ideas.
• Send an occasional note or e-mail that communicates in your own words, "I care about you" and "I'm praying for you."
• Call your friend and say something like, "Hi, I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you."
• Take the initiative to schedule a time to meet for lunch or a Coke. Focus attention on how your friend is doing.
• If your friend is playing sports, performing in a play, or participating in a debate or some other activity, attend the event to show your support.
• Ask a few other mutual friends to join you in supplying the encouragement your friend needs. Your thoughtful words and deeds of comfort, support, and encouragement will be an ongoing reminder to your friend that he or she is not alone. And when people with thoughts of suicide realize they are loved and cared for, they will begin to see themselves and their life situations in a healthier light.

Once you have initiated steps of comfort, support, and encouragement, you may have an opportunity to share with your friend more pointedly about his or her worth as a person.

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