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Seeking Additional Advice on Working With a Suicidal Friend

It is Tuesday evening, February 12, and since this past Friday, I’ve been working closely and hand-in-hand with a friend of mine who has become desperately suicidal.

I’ve done everything I can do at this point, and I worked also in conjunction with a mental health professional and a pastor so that we can approach the situation from various angles.

My friend, a single, middle-aged, mother and grandmother, has been talking about “life is not worth living” and wanting to take her life to end the misery, since Friday. I’ve been on the phone with her several times, usually for a one or two hours phone call, and doing a lot of text messaging back-and-forth.

Sunday evening was the last time I actually spoke to her on the phone, we spoke about 9:30 PM that evening. She was becoming increasingly hysterical, delusional, and increasingly frustrating to try to communicate with. I’ve been a good friend of hers for about 10 or 15 years, but the thing that finally “put her over the edge” was being disowned by her children and no longer able to see her grandchildren.

So of course, she’s taking the position that she did everything “right” in raising her children, brought them up in a God-fearing home, but then has continued to try to control them once they became adults, married and began their own families. So I can see where the children finally reached a point of having to get some distance between all of that.

On Monday, yesterday, I finally decided to call the police department to have someone go by to check on her. They took a full report, including my name and contact information, and went by to check on my friend. She denied to them that she was having any suicidal thoughts, and then she really let me have it, talking about I’ve betrayed our friendship, and this is why she can’t trust anyone.

She came to me on Friday, telling me all of the situation that she was going through with her children and grandchildren, and really loading my plate up, so at some point, I needed to “offload” on to other people who are in a better position to do something about it. So I’ve been talking quite a bit with my health professional friend, and my pastor friend, and now the police department. My friend is furious with me, but I told her that she’s not really angry at me, I think she is “embarrassed by the whole situation”.

So, I haven’t heard from her since some nasty text messages from her on Monday, and not a word today even though I sent three text messages over to her this morning. So I had no other choice but to call the police again, and they told me that since they had already gone by there 24 hours ago, and she said that she wasn’t suicidal, that there was nothing that they can do at this point. That seems a little bit “ridiculous”, but I guess that’s their policy.

So, I wanted to share that with all of you out there today. Because there may be a time where you have to deal with this situation just like I did. I think the best thing to do is offer a (1) a listening ear, (2) sympathy and empathy, (3) when it is appropriate, suggestions for them to seek counseling or medical help, (4) continue to be there for them throughout, even though they get angry with you.

So, I’m asking for all of the readers out there, if there are additional thoughts or steps that you think may be appropriate in dealing with the situation?

Even though she’s basically told me to go away, and don’t bother her and she resents ever telling me what she was going through, I feel it’s my place as a good friend, to be there for her and to try to find as much professional help as possible.

She’s not answering her phone, but I’ll still send her a text message or two every day until I feel that she’s become more stable. Any thoughts?

Let’s just continue being there for each other, because you never know when people are in serious need of help, support, to get through a crisis they may be going through.

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