Read the whole thing, because there’s a lot to consider but I really wanted to highlght these two paragraphs.
Sometimes, people who aren’t familiar with caring for teenagers at risk of suicide worry that there is nothing they can do to help if a teen is determined to die. Resoundingly, teenagers expressed just the opposite. They wanted help so that they could stop feeling like they wanted to die. And many of them told us that by coming to the emergency room, they found exactly that — they felt safe. Being in the hospital made them feel less stressed, and some had fewer intrusive thoughts about suicide or death.
Even before they started specific mental health treatments, just being in a supportive environment helped improve their mental health status. Adolescents liked the doctors, nurses, and social workers they met in the hospital, and they felt relieved and well-cared for, knowing that these professionals could support them. They appreciated distracting activities, such as crafts and games, and simple comforts including warm blankets, and tasty meals.
It’s easy to think that someone, teen or adult, who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health struggles, needs more than we can give them. We aren’t experts, we don’t don’t know how to fix, or treat, their issues. Yes, that is true, but often we can do a lot to help just by being there, and being supportive.
In other words, being a caring human being.