Suicidal Ideation: Building Coping Skills
This article was submitted to the 100 Voices for Suicide Prevention Campaign by Phyllis Foxworth, Director of Advocacy Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. The mission of the DBSA is to provide hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders. Find out more about DBSA at DBSAlliance
Knowing that I wasn’t going through this alone … that was my first break through.”
– DBSA support group participant
Individuals living with an untreated or undertreated mood disorder are at a higher risk of suicidal ideation or attempts. One reason: It is often a desperate attempt to control the symptoms of the mood disorder.
As the leading peer-led organization for individuals living with mood disorders, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) not only understands these feelings, but also the value of education and awareness about suicide risks. That’s why we created a video that openly talks about suicide and the need for open dialogue with loved ones: Suicidal Thoughts.
Participants in the video share coping skills for offsetting the symptoms of suicidal ideation, including the importance of telling people you are close with about your thoughts.
Other tools for supporting individuals with mood disorders and suicidal ideation are the DBSA Wellness Tracker, a tool that can help an individual better recognize potential health problems and mood triggers in his or her daily life, and DBSA Support Group meetings. These meetings are led by peer volunteers who have a shared, lived experience. The meetings provide the opportunity to reach out to others and benefit from the experience of those who have been there. They can motivate individuals to follow a treatment plan and help individuals understand that a mood disorder or suicide attempt does not define them.
Participants at DBSA support group meetings have shared that they are able to rediscover strengths and a sense of humor that have been lost. They provide a forum for mutual understanding and self-discovery. Learn how to locate a support group in your area by visiting the DBSA website.
DBSA chapters and support groups do not endorse or recommend the use of any specific treatment path or medication, and they are not meant to be a substitute for professional care.