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Monday, April 11, 2016

When A Friend Tells You They Think About Suicide . . .

Dear Bro Jo,

This probably isn't a question like you usually get, but you're the first person I thought to ask for help.

I'm 17 years old, and I have a really good friend I've known for just over a year, and we used to like each other. I don't like him more than a friend anymore, but he still likes me a lot.

Anyways, he's gone through a lot of trials in his life and was inactive for years.

I moved to this town just over a year ago and befriended this boy, and eventually convinced him to come back out to Church. He's been coming ever since and has come a long way.

Everyone tells me how he has changed so much.

Well let's fast forward to last night.

This boy tells me he is so glad I moved here, and that I've had a big impact on him, etc. (This is all through text by the way).

He got around to telling me that before I moved here he was going to do something. I asked him what that thing was, and he eventually told me that he had been considering suicide.

This scared me, but I wasn't too surprised, as he has had a really tough life so far, and I'm one of his only good friends he has.

He told me he still thinks about doing that sometimes, so I made him promise he would never do that to me, and he said he wouldn’t.

He also made me promise I wouldn't tell anyone about this, and I don't know if I should really tell anyone, because I don't think he would ever go through with something like that.

What I'm wondering is if this is something I should go to my bishop about, or my school counselor, or maybe even my mom?

I feel bad breaking his trust about this with him not wanting anyone to know about it, but I don't want anything to happen and regret not doing anything about it.

Thank you so much for your time, and thank you for all that you do. I've seen the great advice you give, and hope you can give me your input on my situation.

Thanks again,

- B

Dear B,

What's worse: telling someone that you're worried that this boy might be suicidal and being wrong (which he might hold against you), or not telling someone because you don't want to hurt his feelings only to find out that he is indeed feeling suicidal and he doesn't get the help he needs?

Look, if this is just teen drama (perhaps him trying to manupulate you), let it go; but if there's any remote possibility, even the slightest chance that this might be real, I think you have to say something.

To a counselor, your parents, Bishop, YW Leader . . . someone.

Right away.

We should never take this kind of thing lightly.

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true Bro Jo. OP, I was once in the position of your friend. However, the friend I had confided in told my older sister straight away as she is like a second mum to me. Honestly, I was furious at my friend and couldn't believe she "betrayed" me .. however, a year has passed since then and I have gotten the professional help I needed.
My friend and I are closer than ever before and I know she loves me enough to do whats right for me - even if it puts her in an uncomfortable position.

Good luck OP - be a true friend :)