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15 Things People Want to Say to Those Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts

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If you’ve witnessed a friend or a loved one struggle with suicidal thoughts, you understand that heartbreak. You want to help more than anything, but sometimes it’s difficult to find the words to bring the person out of their darkness. You wonder if there are even the right words to say.

Maybe you’ve been in the situation where you suspect someone you know might be depressed or on the verge of having suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s your place to bring up the issue.

“I’m a big believer in saying something and saying it now. There’s always the potential for a bad outcome if nothing is said or if one puts off saying something until later,” said Jay Westbrook, M.S., R.N. senior grief and loss counselor and an expert author for Pro Corner on

“Being a listening ear and a caring heart can help in some situations, while other situations may require the activation of the emergency response system,” said Westbrook. He also shared the seven things he said to a loved one who expressed a desire to take her own life:

1. “You haven’t disappointed me.”

2. “’I’m not hurting anyone but me’ is a lie.”

3. “Your death will break our hearts.”

4. “We will not be better off without you.”

5. “The world’s brightness will be forever dimmed without you.”

6. “We would rather struggle with you, than without you.”

7. “I love you, unconditionally, to the moon and back.”

“She did not take her life,” said Westbrook, “and she reported that numbers two, four, and especially six affected her most greatly.”

Westbrook’s words may have saved his friend’s life, so we at Recovery Brands set out to curate other words of encouragement from our friends on social media as part of our #Talk2Heal suicide awareness campaign for our sites and We asked, “What would you tell someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts?” Here’s what they shared:

1. quote reads: I love you. It maybe seen insurmountable right now, but it can be so much better. Hope is everything. Your legacy matters.

2. quote reads: These feelings are fluid and temporary! You must protect that small deep secret part of you that needs to live. There are people out there that care. Reach out.

3. quote reads: I am here for you and will help you in the ways that you need.

4. quote reads: I understand what it feels like to have those same thoughts. I know what it's like to e suicidal but not wanting to die. You just want the feeling of wanting to die to stop. Despite all of this everything can and will be ok. You can get through this. Seek professional help and I'll help set up a support system of family and friends.

5. quote reads: Fight with all you have. Tomorrow is always a better day.

6. quote reads: It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and you don't have to go through it alone.

7. quote reads: Just hold on! It's so hard, but as a survivor, it goes get better with help!

8. quote reads: Life still have so many wonderful things to show. Hang on with me for now.

9. This too shall pass! Take my hand, together we will ride out this storm!

10. quote reads: I love you so much. Don't do it. The world would be darker without you, don't stamp your light out now. It'll get better.

11. quote reads: Please, please don't. You are needed in this life. You may not feel or see it right now but give yourself time and you will.

12. quote reads: I love you and I am sorry you are having these feelings. I am here, I will help you get through this. You will come out a better person. I know. I promise because I have been there. Now, let me pray for you.

13. quote reads: I know what it feels like to be all alone. I'm human and I mess up quite often, but, I promise, as best I can, you have my ear, you have my heart, you have my shoulder to lean on and my arms to hold you tight. I'm glad you're here. And, to me, you're worth it.

14.  quote reads: It's a bad day... not a bad life. You'll get through this. I'm here to help you do just that. I love you.

15. Try to open up. I know it's hard, but it's the silence that kills. It robs you of reaching out, it makes you feel unworthy, it closes you off. Just try and open up to a mirror, a wall, then a person, sometimes a stranger will listen better than a family. A preacher, a paster, they are there not to condemn, but to show you there is.

text reads: Are you worried? Express your concern and ask questions. Listen and be there for them. Don't let it go. Get support and guidance for yourself. If your friend or loved one has a plan to harm themselves/or intent to act on a plan, get help immediately.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

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 text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Originally published: June 22, 2017
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