Together we will defeat the enemy: Suicide
Suicides are preventable. Use your courage and compassion to find the ‘combat indicators’ of suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviour.Read More
Fix suicide with direct and open talk about suicide:
“Are you thinking about suicide?”Read More
Strike at suicide by listening, with kindness and understanding.
No advice.Read More
“This is serious. You are important to me. I cannot take a risk on losing you. What has brought suicide into your life? I’m listening.”
Exploit through cooperation and collaboration, helping the suicidal person keep themselves safe from suicide and reinforcing belonging and self worth.Read More
OPEN – direct and open talk about suicide is the key to prevention. Also those wanting to help must have an open mind, and an open heart as suicidal thoughts are understandable, complex and personal. Once a person has identified ‘combat indicators’ of suicide they should ask directly and openly about suicide e.g. “I’ve noticed…and I’m just wondering – are you thinking about suicide?”
AUTHENTIC – a person trying to save someone from suicide must be seen to be themselves, and to be genuinely compassionate and caring. It is the ‘congruence’ that talking therapists (counsellors) are trained in. The suicidal person must be able to trust the person engaging with them. No masks, no pretence, no facades, no ‘bullshit’.
FRIENDSHIP – Relationships are the context of suicidal intervention. The suicidal person must know that they are important, that their thoughts and feelings are being taken seriously without judgement, and that they ‘belong’ without conditions. Helping a suicidal person relies upon trustworthy relationships, based on friendship.
ACCEPTING – the suicidal person must be treated with ‘unconditional positive regard’ and acceptance. They are likely to have already been burdened with judgement and shame, with the feeling that ‘people would be better off without me.’ Acceptance means empowering people to be truly themselves, by listening to the reasons why suicide has come into their lives without any disapproval or correction or attempts to advise. Simply accepting their truth, and accepting them as they are.
ALTOGETHER – this is about ’empathy’ and sharing in the suicidal person’s feelings and pain. It is about being with them in the darkness of hopelessness, and despair. Putting ourselves ‘in their shoes’. It is letting them know that ‘we can’t take a risk on losing you’, because we are all in this together, in a unique family created and forged by military experiences. It is also about the person knowing that they are not suffering suicidal thoughts in isolation. Being isolated with suicidal thoughts is the biggest risk factor.
FUSILIERS – this is about cooperation and collaboration in the mission to defeat the enemy: suicide. The helper and the person at risk must work together to prevent suicide, ensuring that the suicidal person has ownership and control, and is empowered to take responsibility for their own life. You can do this, you will get through this – OAFAAF – Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier.