By Guest Author | Posted - Apr 22nd, 2024





Cameron McBride Discusses How to Help Those Who Are Struggling

Salt Lake City, Utah, April 22, 2024

Continuing our mental health series curated by Promise2Live, Co-founder and CEO of Avec Me, Richard Godfrey shares the story of fitting prosthetic limbs for elephants that have been injured by landmines in Cambodia. See the first article in this series, the profile story about Promise2Live, authored by Promise2Live founder, Brandy Vega.

The second article in this series—an introduction Tom Telford's BrainStoke podcastcan be found here

The third article in the series, authored by Richard Godfrey, Co-founder and CEO of Avec Me, discusses fitting prosthetic limbs for elephants that have been injured by landmines in Cambodia. It can be found here.

Cameron McBride will be joined this Friday by Dr. Dave Morgan, Licensed Psychologist and Director of Mental Health Awareness for Silicon Slopes
Brandy Vega, Founder of Promise2Live, and Becky Kemp, Speaker, Coach, and Author of The Word Effect, at the April Silicon Slopes & Promise2Live Mental Health Town Hall, April 24, 2024 at Noon at Silicon Slopes HQ in Lehi, 2600 Executive Parkway, Suite 140, Lehi UT 84043.

Critical conversations and words matter!

Do you know someone who is struggling but are not sure how to talk with them? At this town hall you will learn about how to have conversations around mental health including your role as a friend, coworker, or loved one. This includes how to listen, what to say and what not to say, how to address difficult situations, etc. 

Register to attend here.


By Cameron McBride

Recently, I was in the left turn lane of a four-lane highway waiting for the small pickup truck in front of me to turn left. The stoplight turned yellow and the small truck in front of me started turning left, not realizing the oncoming SUV in the outside lane of traffic was not stopping. A deafening collision occurred sending both colliding cars into the other vehicles waiting at the intersection. I paused for a split second to brace myself before jumping out of my car to help—as you never know what you might find in such a situation. I approached the small truck and could see the driver moving inside. I was unable to open his door as it was jammed from the collision. I went to the passenger side and opened the door as the driver was desperately trying to crawl over the seat.

Despite my warnings to hold still, he fell out of the passenger seat, landing directly on my feet on the street. I asked him to hold still and help would arrive soon. With my hand on his shoulder, I provided comforting words to a complete stranger until medical personnel arrived.

Once the chaos of the scene settled down and I had provided the authorities with the requested information, I returned to my car and began driving away. I thought to myself, “what would have happened if everyone just stayed in their cars and rather than lending a supporting hand and comforting words? What if we had just sent a text from our cars stating ‘hope you are doing okay, let me know if I can help.’ Or worse yet, did not send a text or offer any help at all?”

This experience can be related to those who may be struggling with their mental health. Do we rush to their side and provide words of support and encouragement? Do we put our hand on their shoulder and tell them we are there until they get needed medical attention? Doing such can be scary and intimidating. Hopefully this article can provide understanding and confidence for someone who may not be sure how to help someone who is struggling, especially when it comes to suicide.

In moments of darkness and despair, a friend's supportive presence can be a beacon of hope, guiding them back to the light. Suicide is a taboo subject, and it can feel awkward or difficult to broach the topic. However, breaking through the discomfort and offering compassionate support can make a significant difference in someone's life. By understanding the signs, asking direct questions, and listening with care and empathy, you can help prevent suicide and provide invaluable support to those in need.

Understanding the Signs

Recognizing the signs of suicidal thoughts is the first step in offering support. Psychologist Chad Buck emphasizes the importance of taking suicidal comments or gestures seriously. He suggests remembering the acronym BELIEVE:

  • Believe that suicidal comments or gestures are serious.
  • Engage in conversation about thoughts and feelings.
  • Listen without judgment or arguing.
  • Investigate intent and access to lethal means.
  • Express empathy for the person and situation.
  • Validate how difficult and painful this is for them.
  • Encourage them to seek support and escort the person to access help.

Approaching the Conversation

Because suicide is a taboo subject, planning ahead and finding the right time and place to talk is crucial. Give yourself and the person you're speaking with plenty of time, and ensure privacy to create a safe space for open dialogue. When asking direct questions about suicidal thoughts, approach the conversation with care and compassion. Be non-judgmental, and convey genuine concern for their well-being.

Active Listening

Listening takes time, patience, and a sincere interest in helping. When someone opens up about their struggles, it's essential to give them your full attention. Avoid interruptions and resist the urge to rush to judgment. Instead, practice active listening by focusing solely on the conversation and allowing the person to express themselves at their own pace. Controlling your own emotions is also important; while it's natural to feel shocked or fearful, maintaining a calm presence can reassure the person and create a safe space for dialogue.

Asking Direct Questions

Direct questions are essential for understanding the person's thoughts and feelings. Ask about their recent happiness, whether they've thought about suicide, and if they have a specific plan in mind. Approach these questions with sensitivity and empathy, and be prepared to listen actively to their responses. If the person acknowledges suicidal thoughts or plans, offer immediate support and assistance in seeking professional help.

Showing Compassion and Support

Showing compassion and support is vital when discussing sensitive topics like suicide. Be authentically and genuinely caring, and avoid trying to solve the person's problems or offer quick solutions. Instead, validate their feelings and experiences, and reassure them that seeking help is a positive and courageous step toward healing. Offer resources and assistance in finding professional help, and follow up regularly to show ongoing support and concern.


Supporting a friend in crisis requires empathy, compassion, and a willingness to listen without judgment. By understanding the signs, asking direct questions, and listening actively with care and empathy, you can help prevent suicide and provide invaluable support to those in need. Remember, your willingness to listen and be present can make a profound difference in someone's life. If you or someone you know is in crisis, don't hesitate to seek help.

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Your support can save a life.

In times of crisis, your support and empathy can make a profound difference. By breaking through the discomfort and offering compassionate listening, you can help prevent suicide and provide invaluable support to those in need.


Cameron MdBride is CEO of Blomquist Hale Solutions, a Salt Lake City-based company specializing in mental health solutions including stress, anxiety, family counseling, legal problems and eldercare.

Since 1986, Blomquist Hale has partnered with over three hundred companies and organizations such as University of Utah, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake County School District, Unified Police and others.

For more information, call 801-262-9619, or visit the company's website at

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