If you've ever experienced even fleeting thoughts of suicide, a suicide prevention counselor needs to be a part of your life. This mental health professional can work closely with you to not only help you to move past these feelings but also to help you understand why they might be coming up for you. While a family doctor can also be a person to whom you turn when you're experiencing concerning thoughts, your counselor can often be the first person you contact when you're aware of needing some support. Here are some things that you might not know about working with a suicide prevention counselor.
Someone Is Always Available
Conventional counselors have regular office hours, and while some are available to talk with you at other times, this isn't always the case. With a suicide prevention counselor, you can find comfort in knowing that someone is always available. Many suicide prevention counselors work in teams, which means that if your primary counselor isn't available, someone else can step in and work with you. Whether it's the middle of the night, a holiday, or a weekend, you'll appreciate knowing that you can speak to someone who can help you — rather than have to make an appointment and then perhaps wait for several days.
You Don't Need A Referral
Often, dealing with a healthcare practitioner only occurs after your family doctor has made a referral. This obviously isn't a scenario that would work well when you're experiencing thoughts of suicide. You can take comfort in knowing that when you're looking to speak to a suicide prevention counselor for the first time, you don't need to go through a lengthy referral process. Instead, you can simply find the name of an individual counselor or a counseling organization online and make a call.
You Can Call Even If You Aren't Suicidal
While the majority of people who are in contact with suicide prevention counselors are those who may be thinking of harming themselves, you don't necessarily have to be in this position to make use of this service. Many suicide prevention counselors can talk to the family members of those who are battling suicidal thoughts. If your spouse or your teenager has been struggling in this manner and you want to better understand him or her, you can talk to the counselor. They can't share the confidential information that has come up in your loved one's sessions, but they can talk to you about how to best support your family member in this time of need.
To learn more, contact a suicide prevention center.