Last week, an acquaintance on Facebook posted a status saying “يبدو أن ما أجيده فعلاً نهاية المطاف هو الانتحار.. كمن سبق” or “It seems that what I can do best is to commit suicide after all..”
People noticed, checked in on him, and he posted an update. He explained that psychological pressures caused him to make that comment. For some background, this person is Syrian and survived a brutal siege under heavy bombardment, and is now living as a refugee in Turkey. He later posted another update saying that he was getting better.
The vast majority of people left supportive comments, but I was disturbed by how others (Syrian and non-Syrian) publicly reacted. One person told him to stop being selfish and to “be a man.” Another tagged him in a post that said: “My crazy friend just posted that he wants to commit suicide” complete with a side-eye emoji.
When someone expresses that they want to commit suicide, you should:
- Make a supportive comment, do not be dismissive.
- An example of a supportive comment is “Hi, I am here to talk if you want. I care about you.”
- An example of a dismissive comment is “Come on, are you serious? That’s selfish!”
- Know Your Resources
- The first resource is knowledge so that you can better take care of yourself and others. I’ve listed some resources below in Arabic that cover suicide and other topics.
- The second resource is knowing what services are available. I found a suicide hotline link in Lebanon and Jordan, but not an Arabic-language one in Turkey that an Arabic speaker might use. If you know of one, let me know and I’ll add it to the list. Other resources to know are who the mental health providers are in your area and how to get an appointment with a doctor.
- Know Your Limits
- You can provide listening and support, but there are other things that only a clinician can do.
- Get Support
- Build a community where it’s normal to talk about mental health care.
More information on common mental health issues:
- Anxiety Disorders | اضطرابات القلق
- Bipolar Disorder | اضطراب املزاج ثنائي القطب
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) |العالج المعرفي السلوكي )ع م س)
- Depression | االكتئاب
- Mental Health Disorders: What family and friends can do to help |االضطرابات العقلية: ما الذي ميكن أن تقوم به العائالت واألصدقاء للمساعدة
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | اضطراب التوتر ما بعد الصدمة النفسية
Resources in Lebanon
Resources in Jordan
Suicide Prevention Hotline number | الخط الساخن الوطني للحد من الانتحار
Amman: 0096 262 508 900
0096 262 508 902
0096 262 508 903
0096 262 508 904
0096 262 508 939
0096 262 508 941