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Trying to help when you’re in over your head (tw:suicide)

My neighbor and his daughter came over this morning to ask for a “favor”. His daughter, who is 20 and has special needs (I believe she has FAS) and lives with him and his wife, was just released from a two week hospitalization for suicidal ideation. She cannot be left alone and they need someone to watch her tomorrow afternoon for a few hours, so they asked me (I’m a SAHM). I didn’t feel I could say no or really ask questions with her standing right there, so I said yes.

We have a cordial relationship, but to call this an overreach is a huge understatement. I barely know these people, I don’t know what is going on with the daughter-what am I supposed to look out for? Is she a threat to other people?, etc.


I am also, frankly, a very basic white girl. I feel like I have a less than average understanding of mental illness, suicide, emotional issues and even special needs adults. This young woman has always been happy and upbeat and friendly and very outgoing, so, in addition to being sad, the idea that she was suicidal underscores to me how little I know about her and how blind I probably am.

So I am kind of freaking out. We don’t have guns, but should I hide my knives?Can I just take her along on my errands tomorrow? Sitting in the house for four hours quietly paranoid sounds terrible.

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