What should I do if I think my family member is considering suicide?
- Talk to your family member about how they are feeling. Asking about suicide won’t cause or increase suicidal thoughts, or cause the person to act on them. It may help them feel less isolated and scared. It may also allow you to see how you can help.
- Let the person know you are there to listen and encourage them to speak to their health care team if they have one. If you are concerned that they are feeling more depressed or not acting like themselves, you can contact the team if your family member has given them consent to speak to you.
- Encourage and help your family member to stay away from alcohol and other drugs.
- Create a support network of family and friends who can accompany your family member to health care appointments or other places they fi nd stressful.
- Keep a copy of your family member’s safety plan (if there is one, and they are willing to share it), so you know what steps to take to keep your family member safe.
- Keep crisis line numbers handy (program them into your family member’s phone, and your own). See the “Resources” section of this pamphlet for numbers to call.
- Obtain a Form 2 from a justice of the peace if you are concerned your family member is a risk to themself or others (www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj). It allows police to take the person to hospital for assessment. A physician will assess the person to see if they should be put on a Form 1—if so, they may be kept in hospital for up to 72 hours for emergency assessment. Using a Form 2 can harm the relationship you have with your family member, so consider it carefully.