In this medical health video Dr. Kay Jamison gives a step-by-step explanation of what you should know " and do " if a loved one is suicidal.
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Preparing for Crisis Kay Jamison: If family member or friend is involved with someone who is suicidal or potentially suicidal, first and foremost, take it very seriously. Assume that it may happen, the suicide may happen and that you have to be aware and ask about whether there are any guns in the house, whether there are any knives in the house, whether there is kind of medication in the house that could be potentially lethal, what the plans are. Friends and family aren't expect to be doctors and clinicians, that's not their job but to ask repeatedly often with compassion and understanding, but be blunt, be direct, be informative of where the nearest emergency room is. The names of the doctors, I mean, in an ideal world, you would want to have these things worked up before anybody got suicidal. So you would want to have a meeting of the doctor, family members and friends, in advance with someone who has the potential for being a suicidal. So there is game plan in place that says, you know, the doctors, the person that everyone contacts that there is a clear line of communication, that there are advance directives, that a patient makeup in advance and says, you know for example, I make it very clear that if I get sick again or suicidal, that I want to be hospitalized at Johns Hopkins and no place else. I want the following doctors be treating me, I want the following medications. I want to be hospitalized against my will if necessary. I want to have ECT if necessary against my will, and my family knows this I've written it up, I have written it up for doctors. I think the more explicit and clear cut that you can be when you're at the top of your game intellectually and clinically, rather than waiting to an emergency situation, I think those things are important.