If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.

September is Suicide Prevention Month and I know it can be incredibly hard to begin a conversation when you're worried someone wants to take their life. A Rochester woman, former co-worker, and dear friend, Val Kleinhans, invited me on her podcast to talk about her suicide story.

Val and James (James Rabe)

Is It Possible to Help People When They're Considering Suicide?

When you listen to her podcast, you'll see that yes, it is very possible to intervene when someone is either considering suicide or about to complete suicide. The basics stepped we talked about are...

a) Ask the person if they're considering suicide. Val was surprised, but grateful when she was asked, "Are you thinking about completing suicide?" It got to the point, and if she hadn't been thinking about it, it wouldn't have put the idea in her head.

After you ask such a big question, it may take a while for words to come, so be ready to sit with them. You don't need to say much...just let them feel you be there for them.

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ii) When the time feels right, ask them if they'd like to go get some help. In Val's story, she wanted to talk a long time, then a suggestion of help at the emergency room helped her move to the next step.

3) We have a page of mental health resources hereThe final step here is about referring them to someone that can help. In Val's case that was being driven to the emergency room and being there while she checked in.  Shew was unsure how the process works, so she needed someone to be by her side while she did the hard work.

But that help might also be texting HOME to 741-741 and being with them while the process gets going.

Val and James - I'm just now realizing how often it's just my eyes in pics.

Please listen to the story...it's about Val in a very bad place, and then finding recovery. With a lot of talk and fun conversation mixed in. It a super real conversation, so remember the Trigger Warning above. We also swear some.

I especially recommend it if you're in a bad place, or if you have someone close to you in crisis.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

27 Conversational Questions Parents Can Ask Their Kids After the School Day

If you seem to be stuck in a "fine" answer rut with your kids when you ask them how school was, you are NOT the only one! Here are a few questions that might help start a few conversations. These are tried and true from quite a few Minnesota moms and also resourced from HerViewFromHome.com.