I was asked to counsel a lady whose husband attempted suicide after he was suspected of having been infected with COVID. His results were due. She is in another city and cannot travel. Now, even when his result has come negative, he is hardly speaking to her over phone and not responding to messages either. He has little support in the town – its not his native – he moved into there only 4 months ago. She feels very helpless. How could I help her as a counselor?
Priority is taking care of the client’s husband’s suicidal risk. The lady can try to encourage her husband to talk to the treating counsellor. All the possible support systems in the husband’s place of residence need to be involved, such as relatives, neighbours, friends, NGOs and police. Also, if the lady cannot travel, a close relative/friend should immediately travel and take care of the husband. One of these needs to monitor the husband’s health and take precautions against repeat self-harm attempts. They should take him for immediate consultation with a mental health professional, preferably to a hospital [as he may have injuries or complications related to the suicidal attempt]. The lady will benefit from supportive therapy processes such as ventilation and problem-solving skills as well. The suicide attempt may be due to misconceptions about COVID, hence the lady should be educated about factual information which she can share with the husband.
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