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Brave Listening | Dr Stacey Freedenthal #620

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On the Regular Version …

In this episode, I’m joined by Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, as we talk  about the taboo topic of suicide and the importance of brave listening.

Dr. Freedenthal shares her experiences as a suicide prevention expert and her insights on how to talk about suicide with loved ones.

We discuss the fear and discomfort that often surrounds this topic and how to overcome it through active listening, empathy, and curiosity.

This conversation is a must-listen for anyone who wants to better understand suicide and learn how to support those who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or ideation.

Join us as we provide valuable insights and practical tips on how to engage in brave listening and help others feel seen and heard.

Learn more about Dr Stacey here –

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call 988.

On the Extended Version …

Stacey and I continue the conversation but look more deeply at the topic as clinicians, then how that fits with everyone else.

Enjoy the show!

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corey_allan: Joining me today is Dr. Stacy Friedenthal, and you've got a focus that's not something as prominent that I've come across. And so I am supremely intrigued with where this conversation can go, because this is also not a topic that would commonly be talked about in a lot of podcasts necessarily. say the ones that were for professionals or people in the mental health field. But Stacey is a, you call yourself a suicidologist. And how did you land here? Because your book that I've seen is the loving someone with suicidal thoughts. And so it's, it is a definite need because it is, it is prominent and we come, we will come across it. potentially in in our lives but how did you land here in this particular focus

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Sure, sure, it's a great question. And first, let me say, suicideologist is a real word, even though not everybody acknowledges it, but

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: it's somebody who studies

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: or specializes

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: their practice

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: on suicide prevention.

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: So my path to

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: specializing in

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: suicideology, there

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: are really two paths, the professional

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: and the personal.

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And the professional is that

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: foray into

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: clinical work was even before

corey_allan: I'm not sure if you can hear me.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: I got my master's degree in social work. And that was volunteering at a suicide hotline in Dallas. And then after that, I got another, that was volunteer. And then I got, during my graduate program, I worked as a job at a counseling center's 24-hour line.

corey_allan: Okay.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And then thereafter, just every clinical job I had was in some kind of emergency setting where suicide. suicidality was a pressing issue for many people. And then personally, I lost a friend to suicide when I was young. I myself had suicidal thoughts when I was young and well into my 20s, I made a couple suicide attempts. So I've had a personal interest in the topic as well.

corey_allan: Okay, which that's, you know, I keep coming across this and you probably do too, that we wind up with things that we've overcome or we're battling or. you know that we kind of if we when we can pivot it you know building from victor frankl's work in a lot of ways if i can if i can shift it to where how do i make meaning out of my struggle uh my bent my path sometimes i can go beyond it and make and help other people which is what you what you do and So particularly I wanna spend the time in the first part of our conversation today, Stacey, on the idea of helping people that, like when you have a part of your family, a part of your world, because this is a conversation, tell me if I'm off on this, because obviously being trained in the field as well as a marriage family therapist as well, when you do the training, you will spend some time being introduced to. How do you help somebody, a client, that's got suicidal ideation, tendencies, attempts, et cetera. But when you hear it in the, just out in the common vernacular among people, I don't know if a lot of people know how to react to it.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: There's a lot of fear. And I will say ideally in training, therapists are taught how to work with somebody who has suicidal thoughts,

corey_allan: Good distinction.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: ideally,

corey_allan: Good

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: yeah.

corey_allan: distinction, yes.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: I mean, there's research and in fact, I conducted a study, but it was quite a few years ago that most mental health professionals receive very little training in working with individuals

corey_allan: Okay. Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: who have suicidal thoughts. And a lot of the... challenges with professionals mirror those among the general population and that is that it's a scary topic. And you know there's a lot of myths that people have about if I bring up suicide then it'll give the person the idea or I might cause them to kill themselves or you know I might make things worse and those are really big fears you know it's terrible. to have somebody die by suicide that you love.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And so just to get ahead of it, you're talking about that one right there in particular is a myth.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yes.

corey_allan: it will implant the thought.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yes, in fact, I have a post on my website and the title is something like, are you scared of planning the thought of suicide? And there's been quite a bit of research in recent years where they've looked at, and in some ingenious ways they've looked at, does asking about suicidal thoughts do harm to the person who's being asked? And consistently the answer is no.

corey_allan: Okay.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: There are some people, there's a very small proportion of people who say it upset them a little bit, but it passed very quickly. And you know, for, if somebody gets upset a little bit about being asked about suicidal thoughts, that's a small price to pay for a big reward of potentially finding out that someone is having suicidal thoughts and

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: needs help.

corey_allan: Right. Okay. And so that then leads us straight into the conversation. I think we need to have if we're talking about loving and interacting with somebody that that either, you know or There's signs that point towards or there's something that shifted and so what are from from your experience in your training? In your in your take What are the signs that we need to be aware of as far as our relationship to people that this could be a reality that we need that we're going to face?

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yeah, there's different things to be on the lookout for, but I also want to give the caveat that some people hide very well that they have suicidal thoughts.

corey_allan: Correct.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And that's because, I mean, you know, there's many different reasons, but the ones that come up most frequently that I hear about are, I don't want the person to freak out. I don't want them to call the police. I don't want to burden them with worrying about me. I don't want them to judge me. So there's all

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: these different reasons people hide. And so about half of people actively withhold information about their suicidal thoughts, even to therapists, which is sobering as a therapist.

corey_allan: Yes, it is.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And so the things to look out for though, there are often clues as well. And even when somebody's hiding, these clues can kind of leak. You know, they can slip out without the person realizing. So the obvious ones, you know, are the ones that you hear about a lot, like somebody appears depressed, somebody's gone through a major loss and is isolating, or, you know, they're talking about death. You know, they're saying things like, I wish I were dead, or what's the purpose of living? And then of course, if they say, I'm having thoughts of killing myself, then that's the

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: biggest, clearest sign of all. But there also can be subtle things to look out for. And one that I've found is jokes. You

corey_allan: Okay.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: know, people will, I don't know if you ever saw this about Anthony Bourdain, but he before, in the years before he died by suicide, he constantly joked about.

corey_allan: I did not, I was not aware of that.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yeah, somebody compiled a list of about 30 different occasions where on air he made a joke about suicide. And then, of course, that tells you that there were probably many other times, too, that either weren't on air or this person didn't find because there's such voluminous recordings of him. But but he would say things like, if I have a bad cheeseburger in the airport, I'm going to kill myself. And then. at various times he would get more specific and say how he would kill himself. And then at some point he even started talking about where.

corey_allan: Okay.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And as it happened, he fulfilled those carvengers.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: There's also...

corey_allan: And just to clarify, just for the sake of the audience, because I think it's important that we point this out, that we're talking, there's, tell me if I'm off on this, this is where I want you, with your training, to help fill in my gaps, if I've got some on it too. Of,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Sure.

corey_allan: um. This is where what I believe in this and what I've been taught in this and look out for in this is the escalation of it is one of the major signs that where you're talking about, okay, you're joking about it or it's mentioned. That's, that's something that's a flag. That's a, that's a, that's good data to have. But then if they start adding in, um, a little bit more detail on the plan or, and then they add, they add in the time or the how, and all of those are escalating signs.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Definitely the more specific the information is, the more extensive the information is, the more worried we should

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: be. And not everybody does that.

corey_allan: Well, absolutely. And I mean, that's, that is the one thing that I'm assuming from your experience that if somebody has that deep down and they're withholding and they're hit hiding it, there's not much anybody can do because you don't, you know, they're going to wait. I mean, this is where it gets complicated, isn't it? That it's the whole. I'm trying to orient, I'm trying to help, but if I don't have the information and I'm not being told the information, I'm limited on what I can do.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Well, I think, you know, it's such a difficult balance, Corey, because, which, by the way, I didn't ask you, is it okay to call you Corey? Okay.

corey_allan: Perfect, yes.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: It's such a difficult balance because on the one hand, there's a myth that if somebody's made up their mind to die by suicide, there's nothing we can do. And that's not true. I mean, we know that there have been, there are many people who have been so resolved to die by suicide that they've made a suicide attempt. And yet 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt. are still alive even decades later.

corey_allan: Okay.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And there was a study where people were interviewed who had been stopped from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Same findings, 90% years later, had not died by suicide. So there are things we can do, but the balance that's difficult is, I don't wanna perpetuate the myth that there's nothing we can do,

corey_allan: Thank

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: but

corey_allan: you.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: we also

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: can't do everything.

corey_allan: That's a great distinction.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yeah, and it's something I, it's another blog post of mine where I say, do everything you can, but know that you can't do everything. And so I would say the very first thing we can do and that a lot of people don't because of the taboo and because of the fears is to ask somebody directly, you

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: know, are you thinking of killing yourself?

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And you know, it doesn't have to be hey, how are you doing? Are you thinking of killing yourself? I mean, there can be a buildup to it.

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: one of the ways could be, gosh, a lot of people who joke about suicide, say the person's been joking, a lot of people who joke about suicide, they're actually having suicidal thoughts. Have you been thinking of suicide? And not many people get asked that directly. Like,

corey_allan: Yeah,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: it

corey_allan: and

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: can

corey_allan: that's,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: have an effect.

corey_allan: yeah, that goes back to that idea of that this is such a scary thing that. we could start seeing, again, fill in the gaps for me here, Stacey, that some of the things that I look for and the people I live life with, the clients that I have that come in and out over the years, particularly family members of somebody that could have major depression, suicidal ideation, some of these things that we're talking about today, is when you see a demonstrative change, That's a sign. There's something. Something has shifted, right? It's

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yes.

corey_allan: a normal happy-go-lucky kid or spouse, and now all of a sudden they're not. They're more withdrawn, they're more isolated. There's some behavior patterns that have changed, and then you couple that with the joking. Now all of a sudden I think there's a part of us as humans that I start seeing some of these that are scary, and I wanna look away. I don't... I don't want to face it. I don't want to really look at that tough path therein, let alone me alongside it and what it could do to me, impact me, you know, and that's, I think that's what starts to become the whole, I don't want to bring it up. I don't, maybe, maybe it's just a phase. Maybe we should just go on a vacation. Maybe, you know, we start, I do this when I get uncomfortable with other subjects at times where it's like, I just make a joke. I just want to lighten the mood, you know? And it's like, Okay, in the long run though, that's not serving those I care about or myself better. Whereas what you're describing is, how do I find the courage of, hey, you know what? I've noticed some things that are different. Are they so bad that you're actually thinking of suicide and harm? There's just that, because that's all relational language then.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: It's really hard. I mean, there's so much about talking with somebody about suicide that has a lot of paradoxes. And one of the paradoxes that it can really help the other person, but it can also be incredibly frightening for you.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: You know, and you may be afraid of being harmed. Like some people, they feel like, oh, if I ask them, then I'll get depressed. You know, like I'll get pulled into their despair or I'll. I won't know what to do. I mean, one of the biggest fears when I ask people what they're afraid of in terms of asking someone if they have suicidal thoughts, one of the biggest fears is that the person says yes. And what a paradox, because we want the person to say yes if they are thinking of suicide. And yet,

corey_allan: But we don't want to hear it.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: exactly. And so then I have a whole chapter in my book on what I call brave listening. And... It's not anything I made up

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: in clinical literature. It's called active listening.

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: But I'm kind of using this different term, because first of all, active listening is very jargony. And second of all, because it really does require bravery, A, to ask what scares you to ask, and B, to listen to what's scary to hear. And It can be so scary to hear somebody talk about suicide. And I'm sure that you've witnessed this too. I'm not, tell me if I'm like, you know, Stacy Splaining.

corey_allan: Oh no, but okay, this is, this, we, this, all right, this is a good caveat we need to at least insert here. This is two professionals talking about a topic we are versed in. People that are listening are not. So Stacy's playing away.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: So, well, now I'm having to retrieve that thought, but what I was going to say is just that people, when they get scared, they protect themselves

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: too. And so some ways they may protect themselves. Now I'm talking about the person who's asking about suicide.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: So the ways they may protect themselves are to say, it'll get better. You know, like if the

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: person says, yes, I am having suicidal thoughts, you know, and these can all be well intentioned. And they'll say, it can get better. Or they may say, how could you think of that? You have so much to live for.

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And then they list off all the reasons the person shouldn't think of suicide. And then sometimes judgment can enter, you know, and they'll say things like, how could you think of hurting me like that? You know, how could you think of hurting our kids like that? And again, they're well intentioned. They want the person to not. attempt suicide and yet those good intentions may not be received as such by the person who has suicidal thoughts.

corey_allan: And that's the scary thing because they often aren't. And even let's move it just beyond the realm of suicidal talk and ideation and plans to just uncomfortable things of life.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yes.

corey_allan: That you know when I ask how things, this is the this is the proverbial thing I use a lot as examples when I'm teaching or getting a chance to speak is the the politeness that takes place in civility. And particularly. in church settings sometimes of the, hey, how you doing? Oh, I'm so great when deep down, no, you're not, right? You've got all kinds of stuff that have maybe gone on and you don't want to share it because the times you have, it hasn't been received well or you don't want it, you know, so there's this facade of I want to be perceived a certain way rather than. you know, if someone asks how you're doing and you're like, do you really want to know? There's an element of us as humans is like, I don't know if I do. Um, I don't know if I got the amount of time or energy or the bandwidth or, and so the, the, the beauty I have of, of thinking of your work and how it can apply to more than just the specifics of your work is this brave listening means I'm getting in a hole with somebody that's scary. And I don't necessarily have to have the way out for them, but I need to learn how to get in there to listen, to

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: That's

corey_allan: be

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: beautiful.

corey_allan: real, to let them know they're not alone, to give them something as far as a relationship that it provides, that it's not the ultimate answer right away, but it's love and it's care and it's presence.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: love, care, presence, empathy, an attempt

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: to understand. And I would say curiosity, not,

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: you know,

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: not

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: prurient

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: curiosity,

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: but

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: staying curious and suspending judgment and trying to understand what's happening that makes the person feel that way.

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: So, and I totally agree with you. I mean, there are two things I wanna say,

corey_allan: I'm going to start with the first one.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: well, maybe three, about what you said.

corey_allan: I'm going to start with the second one.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And one is, we also see this

corey_allan: I'm going to start with the third one.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: with death. that if somebody

corey_allan: I'm going to start with the fourth one. I'm going to start with the fifth one. I'm going to start with the sixth one.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: loses a loved one, people have a really hard time knowing what to say and how to

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: listen. And so some of the things that people will say, and again, with good intentions, they'll say things like, and I hope, I apologize if I'm offending anybody who has this religious orientation, but they'll say things like God has a plan,

corey_allan: Uh-huh.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: or it happened for a reason.

corey_allan: Don't apologize for that because I think that's projecting our discomfort. Not

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yes.

corey_allan: that, because this is, all right, let me, and let's add this caveat.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Another coffee, yeah.

corey_allan: Because I think it's important, it's an important distinction. This is what I keep coming across with the spirit life and the religious life. That when you reach a struggle in life and you have even what we're talking about today with suicide and walking along the side of somebody or even wrestling with it ourselves maybe. Oftentimes you hear the platitudes of, oh you just need to pray more. And not that that's wrong, it's not enough though. Right?

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And it can be premature. It can shut down the conversation.

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: What

corey_allan: It,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: we want is for people to open up.

corey_allan: right. Cause I think that's that element of I just shut it down by my discomfort of where this is going. And so I'm then feeling this helpless. So therefore I offer something. Cause then I feel like I'm better. Cause I at least offered something rather than what maybe needs to be offered in that moment is just me. Even with

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yeah.

corey_allan: the whole, I don't know what to do with what you just told me, but I want you to know you're not alone.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Right, and oh my gosh, that must be so hard.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: I'm sorry that you're going through that. You know, tell

corey_allan: Okay,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: me more.

corey_allan: yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And of course you and I are therapists, so.

corey_allan: Anyway, well, and let's add that caveat too, because it's not like it's necessarily easy for us as humans to have these conversations too.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Well, and I talk in my new book about, on the one hand, this can seem like, oh, you have to have a degree in counseling to be able to be that present with somebody. But on the other hand, people who work in customer service

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: are trained and have a listen.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And people who are parents, they can read the book, have a talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk. So it doesn't require an advanced degree.

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And by the way, nothing against people who work in customer service. But what I mean is, they don't have an advanced degree in psychotherapy.

corey_allan: No, but they have learned how to relate to people and interact and hear and respond and there's a huge difference.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Right.

corey_allan: of the importance that that can take. So before we run out of time with this segment, Stacy, we're kind of setting up, I love the concept of the courage to at least ask the questions, to get specifics. If there's a family member, a spouse, a kid, a relative of some sort that you're kind of seeing the signs, you're kind of getting the words, you're hearing the jokes, you're hearing the thought, it's being mentioned in passing, there's changes that have happened. So you ask the questions, what's the next follow-up for them? I mean, obviously this is a huge, but I want to get one more step that we can offer up from

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Sure.

corey_allan: your experience that a person can do that truly is beneficial and life-giving in the long run,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Sure.

corey_allan: hopefully.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: So I'm going to say two things. One is to listen and to try

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: to not to immediately launch into an interrogation

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: of,

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: well, do you have

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: a plan?

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Do you have the means?

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: When

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: would you do this? But I mean, there's research that shows that

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: a very powerful question can be, can you tell me the story

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: of

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: why? Or can you tell me

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: the

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: story

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: of what

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: happened

corey_allan: Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: to make you think of suicide?

corey_allan: Yeah. Yeah.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: you know, something that opens it up for the person to say in their own words what's happening. And then I think the other thing, so one thing is to listen and be receptive and, you know, invite the person to say more. The other thing is there's this common stereotype in public that I've run into repeatedly that people think they need to call 911. And I would say unless the person is truly on the verge of ending their life, right now, like they've got a weapon in hand, or they've already taken a substance to, you know, try to kill themselves. Unless it's something urgent like that, then calling 911 can be a real conversation stopper.

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And it can harm the relationship because it's kind of shifting the listening to somebody else saying, you know, I'm And it's well-intentioned, again, people are afraid, you know. But most people, I mean, every year in the United States, it's something like 14 to 15 million people have serious suicidal thoughts. And it's tragic. I don't want to understate this. It's tragic that almost 50,000 die. But it also means that 99.7% don't take their life. You know, 99.7% of people with serious suicidal thoughts. don't take their life.

corey_allan: Mm-hmm.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And so calling 911 automatically can do damage.

corey_allan: It's two reactionaries, what you're describing. That it's like, hey, you can be a conduit for something first, is what you're describing. That's that idea

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yes.

corey_allan: of the brave listening, the good question. It's a follow-up. And I'm— I'm a proponent of everybody in the population. If we can learn good, just one good question that I can use in a lot of different situations can change the outcome of so many of them because

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yeah.

corey_allan: I've learned how to shift it back to the moment or how to stay engaged or even, I mean, I've used this with people too, as just the whole, I don't know what to do with that. But you even added, but can you tell me more? Right? Because there's that component of this is a relate. I mean, that is a pro relationship movement.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Yeah, I want to understand.

corey_allan: Right,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: You

corey_allan: because

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: know.

corey_allan: you're then demonstrating care, which is a lot of times, I think, what all of us as humans are desperately longing for is,

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: care

corey_allan: I just want to

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: and

corey_allan: feel

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: connection.

corey_allan: care. I want to feel cared for and connected exactly.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And I also don't want to be naive and make it sound like that's all that's necessary. I mean, there are, you know,

corey_allan: Right.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: I'm always thinking in different from different angles, and I want to be really careful. You know, somebody who's lost a loved one to suicide, it doesn't mean that they didn't listen. I mean, even if you well, first of all, if they didn't listen, then they were doing the best they could with the information they had. You know, they they were, you know, we live in a culture where listening in some ways is discouraged for the reasons we've said. But second of all, even if they did do everything that's recommended, suicide can still happen. And that's because there are forces that we still don't understand that are bigger than any one person.

corey_allan: Okay. Well, Stacey, I want to, before we transition into a little bit of a deeper conversation still, if we could even go deeper with this topic, which I know we can, how can people find you and the work that you do? Because it's so important and vital to make sure everybody... Is equipped particularly those that may be facing this because maybe this is a show that they're listening to and it's like man This is striking a chord. So how can they how can they equip themselves?

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Well, thank you. I mean, the first thing I would say is I have a website and it has a lot of articles for people all along the spectrum of those affected by suicidality, including people who have suicidal thoughts themselves, people who have a loved one who has suicidal thoughts, people who have lost somebody to suicide, people who have attended suicide and survived, you know, different things like that. So speaking of is kind of my biggest site and labor of love. It's had like 6 million visitors since I created it.

corey_allan: Good.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: And then I also have a site that has not had anywhere near that many visitors and it's And that's S-T-A-C-E-Y, And that's just kind of like... place and in fact the site's being redesigned now, but it's a place where there's sort of a hub of information about my writings, my professional work, things like that. And I do use Twitter much to my peril at times and my username on Twitter is S Freedenthal

corey_allan: Okay.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: and I also have a professional Facebook account, which is Stacey Freedenthal PhD LCSW. And I think that probably covers it.

corey_allan: Good. Well, all that will be in the show notes. So if you're hearing this today on the show and this is striking any level of court or curiosity and concern, go check out Stacey's work because it's incredibly valuable. So thank you so much for the time thus far, Stacey.

stacey_freedenthal__phd__lcsw: Thank you.