Don’t be afraid to talk to a suicidal person about the prospect of killing themselves.
That’s the advice Renée Gerome, the site director of Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services, has. People who start a conversation with a friend or loved one who might consider killing themselves shouldn’t “pussy foot around about it,” but should ask open-ended questions.
Gerome suggests telling the person you’ve noticed he or she has been upset, then let that person talk about it.
"Some people believe if you talk about it, it puts thoughts in their head. That’s not true,” she said.
Acknowledging changes can open doors to let letting the suicidal person talk about what’s going on, Gerome explained.
In 2006, there were six suicides in Huron County — the same number in 2003 and 2004, according to the Huron County General Health District. There were four county suicides in 2005.
Men commit suicide as much as three or four times more than women, according to Firelands research, but women may attempt to kill themselves four times as often.
Men are more “successful” because they use more lethal means such as firearms, Gerome said.
Jean King, the executive director of Huron County’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, doesn’t know why women attempt suicide more. “You don’t always know unless people end up at the hospital.”
“Attempts can be a cry for help. Women are more likely to seek help,” said Karen Russell Firelands’ outpatient chemical dependency services coordinator.
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