The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


May 14, 2013

Be ready to talk, listen to prevent suicide

Maier says residents should not be afraid to ask questions

ANDERSON, Ind. —  Local residents should have a working knowledge of how to talk to someone contemplating ending their life, according to the newly-formed Madison County Suicide Prevention Coalition. By using the following method they have developed, the coalition believes lives may be saved.

Called QPR, which stands for question, persuade, respond, the method requires little more than open ears and a willingness to help others.


“If you see deterioration in someone’s appearance or their health or notice them becoming isolated or behaving differently, you need to ask how a life change is affecting them,” said Susie Maier, director of outpatient services for Aspire, Indiana Behavioral Health System. “That gives you the ability to listen for an invitation. People considering suicide will often provide an invitation to talk about it.”

These invitations are offered in statements such as: “I feel like I’m a burden” or “There is nothing left for me anymore.”

People may show a physical change, show signs of depression or have a dip in energy level. Emotional outbursts, withdrawn behavior or an increase in crying may indicate problems.

Simply ask what they are thinking or how they are feeling.

“We often find ourselves in this position with a friend going through a rough time,” said Maier. “Sometimes we are afraid to ask that question — whether they are contemplating suicide. I don’t know why. We need to ask.”

If the answer indicates danger, keep the questions coming, such as: “Why are you thinking about dying?” Maier insists that they always have a specific reason.


Once you have discovered the reason a friend is thinking about dying, provide reasons for them to think about living.

“There is always something in the reason for dying that is a reason for living,” she continued. “If they think they are a burden to the family, remind them how much they love their kids.”

Refocusing attention on the positive can alter perspective.


Ask about their suicide plan and then work to disable it. If they intend to use a gun, separate them from their firearm for the time being to allow time and space to affect their decision.

“Make commitments for them to call their pastor or close friend or therapist,” said Maier. “You don’t have to do it all yourself, you just need to make a plan with them and later check on them to be sure they are following through. It’s all about trying to get them to the next place.”

With a population that is able to be open and caring with one another and offer resources to people in need, community leaders expect the suicide rate to decrease.

“This is a doable thing in Madison County,” she added.

Text Only
  • FEA HB0424 Bids for Kids Bears - April 2014 Annual Bids for Kids auction starts Friday

    Breaking the cycle of child abuse is one of the most difficult things to do, but the people of Madison County aren’t ready to give up trying.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spotlight on the kids When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0425 - garfinkel exhibit - 02 Center of the Arts opens vibrant exhibit A layover in Japan more than three decades ago changed the course of New York-based artist Gloria Garfinkel’s work for the rest of her life. The Anderson Center for the Arts opened its latest exhibit featuring Garfinkel’s work Wednesday, and it will run until June 13.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Community Briefs: April 25 A compilation of community news items as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • Weekend Calendar: April 25 Entertainment scheduled at area venues for April 25-27.

    April 24, 2014

  • Live music: April 25 The following listings for live music and other entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Figuring out how to have the good in life without the bad Most of us have had those faith-shaking episodes in our lives. The tragic episodes that leave us wondering what life is all about.

    April 24, 2014

  • Community Briefs: April 24 A compilation of community news as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 24, 2014

  • FEA - HB0423 - food truck file -NE Food Truckin' Thursday returns

    A new favorite that combines food and cars is rolling back into town next week. Food Truckin' Thursday starts back up May 1. For about six months, local vendors will pull up their food trucks to Citizens Park Plaza at Ninth and Main streets from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0423 Tipton Community Briefs: April 23

    A compilation of community news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos

We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin