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MentallyAwareNigeria @MentallyAwareNG
, 28 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
Guys, it's time we had this discussion we always shy away from. Thread below.

There needs to be a better dialogue surrounding mental health, and not just one that only occurs after public tragedies when it’s already too late.

Suicide can be an ugly and uncomfortable topic to bring up. But it’s a conversation that needs to happen regularly.

So let's break down how to actually have a productive talk about suicide with your loved ones and why it’s important to not avoid it, whether they’re in crisis or not. One chat could just save a life.
1a. Accept that it can happen to anyone you know. Many people believe that suicide and self-harm is a distressing topic, but also one that will likely never affect them, so they avoid discussing it,

1b. The best way to talk about suicide is openly and honestly. People are often afraid of the word and they won’t bring it up, but the reality is that the number who die from suicide is more than double that of homicide at a global level.

1c. In fact, the number of deaths from suicides is higher than the number of deaths from all forms of violence – including homicide, terrorism, conflict, and executions – globally

1d. The rates of suicide attempts and acts of self-harm are even higher. Suicide isn’t just someone else’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem.
2a. Know that bringing it up isn’t going to make things worse.
Talking about suicide only helps the problem. It doesn’t exacerbate it.
2b. The most important advice is to have a caring conversation. The evidence has clearly demonstrated that talking about suicide does not cause suicide #keeptalkingMH
2c. Instead, talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can increase hope and help someone on their journey to recovery #keeptalkingMH
3. Talk about the topic of suicide like you would any other health condition. Discussing any other health problem isn’t shameful. Suicide should be treated with the same consideration. #keeptalkingMH
4a. Open up about any difficult experiences you might be going through may encourage others to do the same. And if you know someone is going through a difficult time, let them know you’re aware and you care. #keeptalkingMH
4b. Conversation starters or topics like, ”You don’t seem like yourself lately, what’s going on?” can help #keeptalkingMH
5. It’s not only vital to ask people to open up, it’s crucial to actively listen to what they’re saying and reflect that in your response. (like @victorr_ugo says often, listen with your eyes and ears, and 90% more than you talk) #KeepTalkingMH
6a. It’s important to be straightforward with your friends or loved ones if it sounds like they’re at risk, and it's just OK to ask them if they are having thoughts about self-harm #keeptalkingMH
6b. If they are, it is useful to ask whether there is a specific plan and are they feeling like they might act on it. It is also useful to ask about what things might be making the person feel hopeful about the future. #keeptalkingMH
7a. When talking about suicide to someone who might be suicidal, leave your biases and moral beliefs about it elsewhere #keeptalkingMH
7b. This is not the time to preach to someone who is struggling with a disease that feels their life is in crisis. Check your bias at the door. #keeptalkingMH
8a. Accept that you will feel uncomfortable — and that’s OK.
A little discomfort is better than the alternative of leaving an important conversation left unsaid #keeptalkingMH
8b. Being open to hearing about someone’s pain and struggles and helping them find help can save lives, This conversation will never not be difficult. #keeptalkingMH
8c. It is frightening to sit with someone who is in serious distress. It is not possible to normalize this conversation ― but we can accept the discomfort and understand that it is still the right thing to do.
9a. Don’t downplay the issue.
When talking about it, make sure it is done just as seriously as any other conversation about an illness #KeepTalkingMH
9b. Don’t minimize or deny that mental illnesses are real, that they hurt, and don’t be judgmental about them ... You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer to ‘just get over it. Suicide is serious. Period. #keeptalkingMH
10a. If you’re ever debating whether or not you should bring up suicide, always err on the side of saying something #KeepTalkingMH
10b. Asking about suicide is not going to put a thought into someone’s head or lead them toward it. In reality, it can help reduce their anxiety, distress and potentially save their life. #KeepTalkingMH
And if you find that you need more help navigating the tough waters of speaking to your friend or loved one about suicide and self harm, please send us a DM, or an email on #KeepTalkingMH
Please RT and share Thread #KeepTalkingMH
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