1.3 A New Definition of HealtH
When the person in need does not require crisis or emergency services, your role as a suicide caregiver continues. Being aware of risk factors and warning signs for suicide is important as they are often related to changes in a person’s wellbeing. Exploring different components of their health will give you a sense of what led to their thoughts of suicide and help you figure out your role in their support system.
What does being healthy mean to you?
No broken bones, cancer-free, normal blood pressure, low cholesterol…
noun | health | \ ‘helth \
A combination of physical, mental and social wellbeing
The How Am I Doing? scale below provides us with a starting point to help monitor both our mental and physical health.
Where do you see the person in need on this scale? How might you support them during this time? Ask the person in need where they would rank themselves. If their answer differs from yours, start a discussion about why that is.
Not only does this tool start a conversation about what’s going on, it also provides a mutual reference point for how the person in need is doing over time. This can serve as a baseline for future conversations about how things have progressed.
If someone was in a car accident and got injured, they would likely go to the doctor to get checked out. However, it’s much more rare for someone to seek out support when they feel depressed or isolated. Keeping this in mind, you can help the person in need understand how strains in their health can build up and lead to suicidal thoughts.
© 2018 Suicide Is Different