Suicide Prevention Month: #BeThe1To Follow Up

Over the course of the month of September, the SITREP will be posting information weekly on five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal. This week, the third step is FOLLOW UP. Check out the first, second, third & fourth steps.

You can also find resources and information at the SITREP at the Suicide Prevention page.

How Does Following Up with Someone Who May Be Suicidal Help?

After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow-up with them to see how they’re doing. Leave a message, send a text, or give them a call. The follow-up step is a great 

time to check in with them to see if there is more you are capable of helping with or if there are things you’ve said you would do and haven’t yet had the chance to get done for the person.

Why Does This Work?

This type of contact can continue to increase their feelings of connectedness and share your ongoing support. There is evidence that even a simple form of reaching out, like sending a caring postcard, can potentially reduce their risk for suicide.

Studies have shown a reduction in the number of deaths by suicide when following up was involved with high risk populations after they were discharge from acute care services. Studies have also shown that brief, low cost intervention and supportive, ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention. Please visit the Lifeline’s Follow-Up Matters page for more.



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