Suicidal Thoughts

Hello all,

I have an unsaved coworker/friend who admitted to having suicidal thoughts. I am deeply concerned for her; few people realize she has a deep burden because she covers it up. I’m especially concerned for her salvation. Do you have any suggestions for dealing with someone going through this? What’s a right & Christlike way to approach this? And are there any resources that might help?

Thank you.

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Hello @hope,
It is very encouraging to see your concern for your friend.
Suicidal thoughts cannot be dismissed as trivial and must be addressed. Such thoughts are usually a part of depression. Now depression is a broad spectrum ranging from mild ‘feeling blue’ to serious ‘clinical depression’.

The best thing you can do for your friend is to be with her. All of us feel depressed some time or the other and most of us have had suicidal thoughts. Even in the Bible, Job and Elijah had clear signs of depression and suicidal thoughts. In Job’s case, his friends were unhelpful because for the most part, they were bent on providing answers and ‘explaining’ things while he was miserable. Your friend will benefit most from just you being there with her and starting a gentle conversation. Praying for her before you meet her and praying for her regularly will help you to discern better. If she is willing to speak further, then you may ask her further questions and try to answer them appropriately. Just having someone to talk to and discuss issues in a non-judgmental setting is very therapeutic and helpful to many.

You mentioned that you are concerned about her salvation. You should perhaps address this only after she is out of her depression, in my opinion, but this is a matter of discernment which only you can decide. Never push things. If you feel that her suicidal thoughts are pervasive, that is, they are present all the time, then she may be seriously depressed and may benefit from a consultation with a competent psychiatrist or psychologist.

We are called to bear each other’s burdens and if you can identify some issue that you can help out or someone else can help out, then that will be useful. Love her and be gentle as Christ has loved you.
Galatians 6:2 - Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.
John 15:12 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Pray, and as the Spirit of God leads you, you could be creative in the way you love your friend. The greatest contribution from your side will be your regular prayers for her and then, your presence. I will be praying as well.

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Hello, @hope :wave:

Her opening up to you is a good thing. May the Lord provide you an opportunity to lead her to Him through this crisis she is going through.

As @tonyabthomas has already said, the first thing you could do for her is just to be there and listen prayerfully asking God to guide you on how to best console her pains. If you feel inadequate to help her try recommending a counselor. RZIM recently had an article concerning this subject, hope this could help you…

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Hello @hope

Great and practical question.
Let me share a brief suggestion that I hope would be helpful.

1.) Be with your friend. Spend with her. Intentionally show that she is with you on these difficult times of her life. Let there be physical and emotional touch when you approach her.
2.) Try to consult and reach medical help. It would be highly beneficial for her in a practical sense and way of recovery.
3.) Pray for her. Always include your friend in your intercession. Lift up to our Almighty God what she’s dealing with right now. Ask for hope, strength, sustenance, and healing. God is powerful and big enough to shine His light in every dark moments.

The Christian approach to suicide thoughts consists of PRACTICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, and SPIRITUAL. I heard Ravi once said, “A personal pain needs a personal Savior.”

I recently watch this video. I hope this would also help.

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Don’t be afraid to reach out to hotline professionals who can further direct you to resources. There are different levels of seriousness that people can be “at” when having suicidal thoughts and it’s good to be able to understand them. For example: someone who is actually considering details regarding how they might commit suicide is a much more serious situation than someone thinking about it in an abstract kind of way. So on an immediate emergency level it’s good to be aware of things like that and prepared.

As far as what might be a Christlike response: It’s possible that only God can guide you through the unique details that fit your friend and you and the situation. The fact that, as a child of God you yourself have experienced God’s holiness his love gives you a good basis to be able to pass it on. Knowing know how to say and do things under the influence of the Holy Spirit and God’s love likely will come from the overflow of how God is personally ministering to you.

The fact that you actually do care should allow you a sense of confidence and willingness to be involved. It’s beautiful to have folks like you who are “on-the-job” and willing to minister exactly where God has arranged you to be.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

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I will always say, first tell her Jesus Christ “loves her”. Yes, this is depression. Tell her to please never do anything without calling you first. This is a time for Jesus to use you HO. HO, start praying for her every day & put her on a prayer chain list.

Allow the Lord to use you.

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