What We Can Learn From This 'Teen Mom' Star About Supporting a Partner With Suicidal Thoughts
On November 17, “Teen Mom OG” star Catelynn Baltierra tweeted that she was seeking out treatment for suicidal ideation. She wrote, “Well today I thought of every way to kill myself.. so I’m going to treatment.”
— Catelynn Baltierra (@CatelynnLowell) November 17, 2017
In response to her announcement, her husband, Tyler Baltierra, tweeted out his support. “Incredibly proud of my wife… when she thought she had no choices left, she reached out & decided to LIVE today!” the “Teen Mom OG” star tweeted. “My life would be desolate without her in it. You are beautiful, strong, worthy, & loved”
Incredibly proud of my wife…when she thought she had no choices left, she reached out & decided to LIVE today! My life would be desolate without her in it. You are beautiful, strong, worthy, & loved @CatelynnLowell #KeepTalkingMH
— Tyler Baltierra (@TylerBaltierra) November 17, 2017
The following day when they dropped Baltierra off at a treatment facility, her husband tweeted a photo of himself with the words from their marriage vows from their August 2015 wedding.
We just dropped her off. We haven’t held each other & just cried like that for a long time. Even after 12 years, I continue to be AMAZED by her strength, vulnerability, & courage to get help. “As long as I am alive, you will never be alone” #KeepTalkingMH pic.twitter.com/E90jUv4vR4
— Tyler Baltierra (@TylerBaltierra) November 18, 2017
In the caption of the photo, Baltierra wrote, “Even after 12 years, I continue to be AMAZED by her strength, vulnerability, & courage to get help. ‘As long as I am alive, you will never be alone'”
When your partner or spouse is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it can be hard to know what to do or say. To see what advice people have for supporting partners with suicidal thoughts, we asked our mental health community to share their tips for supporting a spouse or loved one who has been suicidal.
Here’s what they shared with us:
“Just sit with them. It can be the hardest thing to be worried about someone you love, but your company comforts them. Try [to] trust them to do what feels right and tell them it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Saying it’s OK may not help, but encouraging them to do something they love or watch a show they want more of can help.” — Emma P.
“Hear them out. Don’t react. Let them get it off their chest. It takes a great deal of courage to voice those suicidal thoughts.” — Victoria P.
“Be present and listen. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they are having suicidal thoughts. Have a crisis plan — it isn’t morbid to plan for the worst.” — Gretchen E.
“Be there, be gentle, be loving. Sometimes the best gift you can give to someone who feels suicidal is just letting them know you love them no matter what, no matter how hard it gets. Letting them know you won’t judge them or freak out if they get to the point of needing to go to the hospital to stay safe. Creating safe words to convey that you are no longer safe.” — Rachel B.
“Don’t blame yourself for what you are going through. Make sure you maintain your own mental health because you can’t help them if you are at your worst.” — Rhiannon W.
“Don’t give up on them.” — Kayden D.
“Listen to them, let them know their feelings are valid. Remind them how much you care, give them a hug. The biggest thing is to just make sure they know they aren’t alone.” — Abby S.
“Above all, remind them that they are loved and that they matter.” — Christina A.
If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who are feeling suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resourcespage.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
Lead image via Catelynn & Tyler’s Fanpage Facebook page