Felicia, one of the most helpful ways I’ve found to explain, validate, and blow this black and white response out of the water is the following. When a friend tells me they they want to die, I validate that and say, “Yes, a part of you does want to die, and that’s okay. But a part of you also wants to live, because you’ve told me you’re contemplating suicide instead of just doing it. It’s both.” The truth is more grey than people realize and sometimes we feel both responses—that we want to live and die at the same time—though that may seem illogical. The solutions then offered, are sadly reduced to a singular clichés as you list.
But as human beings, we are more than just our physical being or our emotional, mental, or spiritual self. We are all of those things and more. Because mental illness can influence all of a person, we can learn from history and realize it’s not just one problem or one solution, but pieces of each problem, and pieces of each solution. It’s an integrated, whole-person approach tailored to what each person needs, not throwing spaghetti at the proverbial wall and seeing what sticks. Sadly, most reduce everything down to platitudes and harm those struggling instead of helping. Thanks for sharing and shedding light on this.