If you missed part one of my personal take on suicide prevention that I've called my 'suicide prevention toolkit' not to worry you can still refer back to it if you also need a refresher. Anyway without much further ado...here's part two.

The screwdriver of positive memories

I list the positive things that have happened since I was last feeling suicidal - what would I have missed if I'd gone through with it? When I first applied this thinking, it was things like becoming an uncle, making some new friends, and learning salsa dancing, all of which I would have missed. Between each episode, there will be a number of positive memories, so extending that to imagine all the good things I would inevitably miss in the future is another useful tool. Thinking back on all I would have missed in the 27 years of life since my first episode of suicidal ideation is quite sobering.

The pliers of blessings

Someone experiencing suicidal ideation may feel that they have exhausted all their resources, that they have nothing to count on. However, even in what appears a desperate situation, it is possible to count your blessings and to do it systematically. I have water, I know where my next meal is coming from, my shoes are keeping my feet dry, I have somewhere to sleep tonight, I have a brother and can call him anytime, and so on. Suicidal ideation can stem from an underestimation of the resources we have at our disposal, so listing what we have can be helpful. Saying to someone 'how can you be suicidal when you have so much, you should count your blessings' is unhelpful. But helping them to realise how much they do have can be beneficial, if done sensitively. You may not be able to convince them in the moment, but again, you may be able to establish the seed of a positive thought.

I'll be back with another instalment of the suicide prevention toolkit tomorrow. Before then feel free to share what you have read with someone who might need it.

Your donation will help provide a range of services offering the support people need, when they need it steering people away from suicidal ideation. You can make sure there's someone at the end of the phone to listen, a nearby group to share experiences, a 24-hour peer forum and more.

Together, we can support the person behind the diagnosis of bipolar.