What to do after a loved one attempts suicide

Last week, a girl who is really close with one of my best friends almost lost her life after attempting suicide.

She took several medications to try and end her life. When transported to the hospital, she actually flat lined and doctors brought her back to life. That's how close she was to dying.

All of her friends and her boyfriend called off work and stayed at a house nearby the hospital so they could be there for her at a moment's notice.

She will be okay, but, for one week, is required to receive treatment with no visitation from family or friends so doctors can fully monitor her.

According to Michigan law, a person requiring treatment is "an individual who has mental illness, and who as a result of that mental illness can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure himself, herself, or another individual, and who has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of the expectation."

Now, she has a second chance at life.

But, after someone you love attempts suicide, what should you do after he or she is released from the hospital? In the following days, weeks and months, this person needs a lot of support.

Visit griefspeaks.com for an entire list of tips of what to do after a loved one attempts suicide.

Here are some of the things to do:

1. Ensure the person is stable.
2. Do not leave the person alone immediately following his or her return home.
3. Secure all firearms, prescription medications, car keys, sharp instruments, ropes and poisons.
4. If medications are prescribed, make sure the person takes the prescriptions as directed.
5. Pay attention to the person's diet.
6. Let the person talk -- as long as as often as they wish. Do not be judgmental or critical. Show how much you love the person.
7. Get professional counseling by a licensed therapist.
8. Encourage loved one to engage in physical activity, like sports, running, hiking, etc. Exercise produces endorphins.
9. Be alert of suicide warning signs.

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