In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month this September, this week’s MercyBlog is written by one of our amazing Mercy Intake Coordinators. We hope that it helps encourage you whether you are walking alongside someone who is struggling or you are in need some encouragement yourself.

Do you have a loved one who has struggled or is currently struggling with suicidal thoughts or tendencies? Maybe you, yourself have struggled. Either way, the sad reality is that many of us have been impacted in one way or another by suicide.  

Loving someone well who is struggling with suicide can often be challenging. Sometimes you just may not be sure what to say or do. It can even feel like every time you talk to them things seem to get worse, or it just isn’t helpful.  

Working at Mercy and even through my own personal experiences, I’ve learned a few things when it comes to loving and communicating well with someone who is struggling.  

Intentional Listening 

Before going into any conversation, it’s important to be conscious of the way you are listening. Listening to someone to hear and understand what they are saying is very different from listening to someone to just give them a solution. Try asking them at the very beginning, “Are you wanting me to listen or are you wanting advice?”. It’s a simple question, but it makes a huge difference in how that person will then start to communicate with you.  

It’s also really important to validate the feelings of the person you are listening to. When responding to them, try to avoid saying things like: 

  • “Life isn’t that bad” 
  • “Other people are dealing with worse” 
  • “Can we talk about something else” 
  • “You’re being dramatic

Sometimes, communication isn’t even what they need. They may just want your presence as a support. Just being in community allows the other person to see that someone is there for them and really cares.   


Allowing them to express themselves is also important. One way to help them express themselves is to encourage them to write a letter to God as if they are writing one to a friend. This exercise can help them get their feelings off of their chest and ultimately help them feel a little lighter.  

This is something that helped me personally during a hard time in my own life. When feeling hopeless and alone, I felt that my leaning on my relationship with God and being honest with Him was the only way I was going to move on and begin to get the help I needed. 

Point Them to Jesus 

Most importantly, always remember to point them to Christ and remind them of their worth in Him. Remind them of who God is and how much He loves us! Use God’s Word to show them the truth about God as our Father and as our comfort when we are in need. Encourage them to seek help from a Christian counselor. A qualified Christian counselor will be able to help them with what they need in a more nuanced way than you will ever be able to.   

If you think they would benefit from a residential counseling program, encourage them to apply to Mercy Multiplied by clicking here.  

Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.  

Want more resources? Check out our MercyTalk podcast episode, “Helping Someone with Suicidal Thoughts”. For daily inspiration, follow us @MercyMultiplied on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!