4.4 Balancing Trust and Safety

Boundaries are important. They protect your needs. Similarly, the person you’re supporting may also need boundaries to protect their space and wellbeing.

Suicide can make it hard to balance trusting the person in need with your concern for their safety. Checking in on them too often or raising questions when they are going out alone can feel overbearing.

The person in need may not know why they are feeling frustrated or how to talk with you about this directly. Here are some signs the person in need may be feeling overwhelmed:

  • They are short or irritable

  • They complain about a lack of privacy

  • They say you don’t trust them

  • They shut down

This is something important to talk through to ensure both parties can come to an agreement. As these boundaries are for the person in need, it’s important to listen intently on what they have to say. Let’s look at the suggested steps below to start a conversation with Alex about what boundaries they might need from you. Remember to use the Tips for Difficult Conversations you’ve learned!

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Download this template and use these steps as a guide when you talk with the person in need about their boundaries.

As a suicide caregiver, you must continue to be mindful of the person in need’s reactions and responses to your support. Ultimately, open communication helps ensure you are on the same page.


© 2018 Suicide Is Different