If you find someone who has died by suicide, it is important to stay calm and call for assistance. You should not try to move the body, as this could disturb evidence. It is also important to be respectful of the person’s privacy. Keep reading to learn more about what to do if you find a suicide victim.
Look for signs of life.
The first thing you should do if you find a suicide victim is to look for signs of life. This means checking the person’s pulse, breathing, and level of consciousness. If the person is conscious, talk to them and try to keep them calm. Let them know that help is on the way, and start calling 911 for help.
Remember not to move the victim.
When you find a suicide victim, the most important thing is to not move the individual. This is because if they have actually died from suicide, their body may still contain the poison that affected them. If you move them, you could contaminate yourself and possibly other people in the area. It’s also important to try and keep the victim calm and as comfortable as possible. This means not touching or moving them unnecessarily. You should also try and keep onlookers back so that they don’t disturb the scene.
Reach out to emergency medical services immediately.
Calling 911 is a good course of action if you find a suicide victim. This will ensure that the person receives the medical attention they need as soon as possible. If the victim is not conscious, try to find any clues about what may have happened in order to best assist medical personnel. For example, if there’s a bottle of medication nearby, then you may want to let the EMTs know. But keep in mind that it’s best not to move any evidence around. Once emergency personnel arrives, they will take over and figure out the best course of action to take.
Schedule a cleanup.
After emergency personnel has taken the individual, you may need to reach out to technical cleaning services for suicide cleanup. These experts are highly focused on biohazard cleanup. It’s important that you find services that are OSHA-compliant and GBAC-certified. They should have the knowledge and expertise to decontaminate your property and restore your space to its original condition. The last thing you want to do is have to clean up biohazardous waste and other materials after coming upon a traumatic situation.
Speak to a mental health professional.
Finding a suicide victim is a traumatic event. At some point, you should seek out mental health counseling services because it can leave lasting psychological effects. Even if you didn’t see the person die, but were instead the first person to find the body, you should still seek counseling. Seeing a person in that condition can result in feelings of shock, horror, sadness, and confusion. It can also lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after witnessing a death, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health counselor can help you deal with your emotions and process the event. They can also help you to develop coping mechanisms for dealing with future traumatic events.
The page above provides guidance on what to do if you find a suicide victim. In difficult situations, it’s important to stay calm and seek out professional help immediately. After emergency medical services arrive, you can arrange for cleanup services. At some point, you should consider speaking to a mental health professional to avoid any negative psychological effects long-term.