Supporting someone after an attempt can be a difficult and scary task. Knowing how best to support someone is hard, yet we do know a few things from research:
In studies, people who received short, supportive and non-demanding notes (notes that didn’t ask the person to do anything such as “call if you need me”) for weeks, months and a few times a year after attempting suicide were much for likely to seek help and much less likely to attempt or die from suicide when compared to people who didn’t receive these supportive notes.
Unconditional, non-demanding caring and support helps make people feel that their lives matter, that they are loved, and that they can keep going another day.
References to support learning circle: Support after an attempt:
Beals J., Manson S.M., Whitesell, N.R., Spicer, P., Novins, D.K., & Mitchell, C.M. Prevalence of DSM-IV disorders and attendant help-seeking in 2 american indian reservation populations. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62(1):99-08.
Currier, G.W., Brown, G.K., & Brenner, L.A. (2015). Rationale and study protocol for a two-part intervention: Safety planning and structured follow-up among veterans at risk for suicide and discharged from the emergency department. Contemporary Clinical Trials.
Grant, C., Ballard, E.D., & Olson-Madden, J.H. (2015). An empowerment approach to family caregiver involvement in suicide prevention implications for practice. The Family Journal:1066480715572962.
Motto, J.A. & Bostrom, A.G. (2001). A randomized controlled trial of postcrisis suicide prevention. Psychiatr Serv, 52:828-833.
Luxton, D.D., June, J.D., & Comtois, K.A. (2013). Can postdischarge follow-up contacts prevent suicide and suicidal behavior? A review of the evidence. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34(1):32.
Stuart, J.& Jose, P.E. (2004). The protective influence of family connectedness, ethnic identity, and ethnic engagement for new zealand ma̅ori adolescents.
Whitlock, J., Wyman, P.A., & Moore, S.R. (2014). Connectedness and suicide prevention in adolescents: Pathways and implications. Suicide and life-threatening behavior, 44(3):246-272.