How to Help A Suicdal Friend or Family Member

      9 Comments on How to Help A Suicdal Friend or Family Member

suicideI noticed something strange in my blog referrals. There is an upsurge of suicide image searches in my blog which points to the Suicide Prevention page. Thank you Google. That has been the trend for many months now but in the past two days, there is just way too much reference to it.

I recall the same upsurge when someone surfed on the sensational suicide death in 2008 of 19 year old boy Abraham K. Biggs which was viewed on He took a fatal drug overdose in front of an Internet audience. Although some viewers contacted the web site to notify police, authorities did not reach his house in time.

In this news article, Webcam of son’s death appalls dad , Abraham Biggs Sr. said those who watched and the Web site operators share some blame in his 19-year-old son’s death.

“I think they are all equally wrong,” he said. “It’s a person’s life that we’re talking about. And as a human being, you don’t watch someone in trouble and sit back and just watch.”

I know for a fact that these kids were taught to report any suicide thoughts of their peers to their teacher or school authorities. For some reason, they did not take him seriously because he had threatened suicide on the site before but this is actually a clue already. Most suicidal people give warning signs in the hope that they will be rescued, because they are intent on stopping their emotional pain, not on dying. But not many know that.

My heart goes out to the father.

“It’s a shame I wasn’t there to help him. It’s a big loss to me. I wish I was there to help him–since nobody else would.”

If parents of suicide victims only knew that their children would kill themselves, I am sure they would have done all they can to save their lives. Suicide is a significant cause of death in many western countries, in some cases exceeding deaths by motor vehicle accidents annually.

I have met a few parents who lost their children to suicide and never did they imagine that their child would kill themselves. They often ask themselves ” How could I have prevented it? or I didn’t know”

If you are a parent, you can read through this Suicide Prevention page.

Typical warning signs which are often exhibited by people who are feeling suicidal include:

    – Withdrawing from friends and family.
    – Depression, broadly speaking; not necessarily a diagnosable mental illness
    such as clinical depression, but indicated by signs such as:
    – Loss of interest in usual activities.
    – Showing signs of sadness, hopelessness, irritability.
    – Changes in appetite, weight, behavior, level of activity or
    sleep patterns.
    – Loss of energy.
    – Making negative comments about self.
    – Recurring suicidal thoughts or fantasies.
    – Sudden change from extreme depression to being `at peace’ (may
    indicate that they have decided to attempt suicide).
    – Talking, Writing or Hinting about suicide.
    – Previous attempts.
    – Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
    – Purposefully putting personal affairs in order:
    – Giving away possessions.
    – Sudden intense interest in personal wills or life insurance.
    – `Clearing the air’ over personal incidents from the past.

The presence of one or more of these warning signs is not intended as a guarantee that the person is suicidal: the only way to know for sure is to ask them.

I hope the boy’s death is not in vain. The boy’s father believes the webcast was a cry for help.

“But rather than get help, he was ignored,” Biggs said. “I would not want to see anything like that on the Internet and not try and get help for that young man. I think that’s what the average person would do. Any normal person would do. I’m really appalled.”

An average person really does not know when a suicide is about to happen. If most of us knew, then there would have been very minimal suicide deaths.

Somehow, I hope my Suicide Prevention page can help save a life in the future.

A final word: if you have a suicidal friend or family member, please don’t use the line Kasalanan yan (Thinking about suicide is a sin). The suicidal person needs medical help NOW. NOT a lecture, please.

Suicide prevention is everybody’s business. Suicide should no longer be considered a taboo topic, and that through raising awareness and educating the public, we can SAVE lives.

Suicide Prevention Hotline Numbers

USA Suicide Prevention hotline
In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

Philippine Suicide Prevention Hotline

Office Address: 2/F, 48 McKinley Road, North Forbes Park, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Office Phones: +63 2 8931893 /8106233
Fax: +63 2 8931892
E-mail: [email protected]
Crisis Line: +63 2 8937603 /+63 2 8937606 (24/7)
Mobile Text messaging: type hello crisisline and send to 2333 (Globe) or 211 (Smart)

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • Great little blog you’ve got here – keep up the good work. Patch.

  • Many believe that there’s no accidents in psychology. This goes back to Freud, and I do subscribe to this belief with only a minor reservation. What if slips actually happen in our thinking. What if a person who likes playing with fire (e.g. pretending to be suicidal) suddenly slips and actually kills himself, though he’s not suicidal to begin with. Maybe it’s possible for our built-in defensive-survival mechanisms to have a momentary short circuit or lapse.

    Point is, should we intervene on threats of suicide even if they seem like a joke to us?

    • intervene if you are close to this person because you would know if the person is really joking or not. You might have sensed a change in behavior or mood.

      regarding slips, I am not in a position to comment on that. Never experienced it or encountered cases on momentary slips..

  • If I may say this, I also made a post about this issue 2 days ago with some tips on how to stop the potential ones. But I must admit that your entry is far more informative than mine.

    Anyway, I believe that it always boils down to a single word – family. I truly believe that if this young man has strong foundation with his family, the incident will more likely not happen. I strongly agree that no matter how depress a person is, the family is the best outlet.

    There will always be friends, but it is only the family that can understand us fully.


    Angel Cualas last blog post..Understanding the Powers of Effective Parenting

    • I truly believe that if this young man has strong foundation with his family, the incident will more likely not happen. I strongly agree that no matter how depress a person is, the family is the best outlet.

      Even the best of families have a suicidal family member. Sorry to say it is NOT about the foundation. Genetic predisposition to depression is a factor and this is where family can be of help.

      However, a responsive and open-minded family can help a suicidal family member by giving them the proper therapy and medical care.

  • I think you have the more knowledge, Noemi. And I agree on you about that. I remember the case of the son of Sen. Mirriam Santiago, and I suppose it is a classic example of what you’re saying.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Angel Cualas last blog post..Understanding the Powers of Effective Parenting

  • Hi, you are invited to the Blog Prayer Brigade. We are still a handful but we believe it’s worth doing for the country. Hope you join us.

    Dfishs last blog post..Poetic Therapy for Cancer

  • May I invite you to join Filipinos Unite!!!. You may do so by commenting on my blog or by sending an email to [email protected] stating your name, address, name of blog and it’s url. Please join and be counted to uphold the dignity and honor of all Filipinos around the world. Thanks and God bless.

  • hmmm. I think I can add much info to this blog.
    Suicide is under psychiatric nursing and some clients unusual or sudden change of behavior can be a clue that a patient is committing suicide like from very sad to very happy attitude, giving away very sentimental objects and others.

    aries33s last blog post..Links for 2008-11-30 []

  • cracker

    I am a 25 year old proffesional with a crippling depression/drinking problem, any suggestions?