The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion What I’d want to hear if I’d attempted suicide

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Sonia Weiser suggested in her May 9 op-ed, “Don’t know what to say about my suicide attempt? That’s okay.,” that there is no “script” for responding to someone who has attempted suicide. Were I she, what I would want to hear most is, “I’m glad you didn’t succeed,” perhaps followed by, “The world would be diminished if you weren’t here” or, “The world is a richer place because you’re here.” You might say, “I’m sorry you’re in such pain. There are many types of trained people and approaches out there; I hope you’ll keep searching until you find what helps you. Please don’t give up.”

Friend or stranger, we all can offer this support.

Susan Clark Behnke, Alexandria