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After a Suicide Attempt;
Risk is Still High for Suicide

After a Suicide Attempt;
Risk is Still High for Suicide

by Kevin Caruso

Some people erroneously believe that after someone attempts suicide that he or she will not do so again.

That is a myth.

The reality is that when someone attempts suicide, he or she is likely to attempt suicide again at some juncture in the future.

Thus, it is imperative that everything possible be done to help the person.

First, a short-term crisis plan needs to be enacted. This almost always begins with hospitalizing the individual until he or she is stable.

It should also be noted that some individuals die by suicide while in the hospital.

The individual might die by suicide at any juncture while in the hospital, but the greatest risk is in the first few hours after admission. The next greatest risk is in the first few days after admission.

Please click below for additional information on what you can do to help a loved one who is in the hospital.

How to Help a Suicidal Person Who Needs Hospitalization

Medication will probably be prescribed, and it is extremely important that the person continues with the medication as directed at discharge.

And the risk for suicide is high immediately after discharge, so you need to stay with the person as much as possible during that time period.

Give as much support as possible to the person.

Do not be critical or judgmental of the person. He or she needs love, not criticism.

Let the person talk as much as he or she wants.

And make sure that the person sees a therapist as frequently as possible.

Group therapy may be used in addition to traditional therapy.

After the crisis has subsided, a long-term plan needs to be enacted.

This needs to include regular trips to a therapist, checkups with a doctor, and lifestyle changes.

If the person abuses alcohol or drugs, then treatment needs to be received for those problems also.

If the individual has access guns, the guns need to be removed. Firearms are the most frequently used method for suicide.

Also, anything that might be used by the person to attempt suicide needs to be removed. This would include knives, any type of sharp objects, medicines, chemicals, ropes, cords, etc.

Use your common sense as you inspect the residence. Remove anything that may be a problem.

The person needs to take vitamins, exercise, and eat a healthy diet.

And constant, open communication needs to occur with the individual.

Try to get the person to go out and enjoy various activities. Try to encourage the person to be social and to enjoy himself or herself.

Many people will withdraw after attemting suicide. You do not want the person to be withdrawn indefinitely. Don't push too hard. But when the person seems ready to go out and enjoy some events, take him or her out and be as supportive as possible. And please avoid any events, people, or locations that may be stressful to the person.

Also, everyone needs to be alert to suicide warning signs. And if a person exhibits warning signs, you need to call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK

And remember, once someone has attempted suicide, he or she is at a high risk to attempt suicide again. So always be vigilant.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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