Last week’s episode of “Real World Portland” ended on a very real note. Fueled by alcohol, what started as a play fight between Jordan and Nia quickly turned verbally and physically intense. At its height, Jordan imitated a monkey while Nia brandished a lamp. Both looked pretty silly to us, but the words exchanged were anything but a joke.
“I’m killing yo’ a--,” Nia said in response to Jordan’s racially offensive monkey impression. “Kill me!” replied Jordan. “Do you realize how many times I've tried to kill me?” And then everyone went to bed.
Suicide can be difficult to discuss, but if you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, it’s extremely important to address it. Roomie Anastasia made all the right moves with Jordan, starting by keeping a watchful eye but waiting ‘til morning to talk to him. Although any imminent threats should be addressed on the spot, if we've learned anything from “The Real World,” it’s that alcohol and serious convos generally don’t mix.
The best way to talk to a loved one about suicide is actually less about talking and more about listening. Like Anastasia, be patient and understanding — all ears, and no judgment. Addressing someone in front of others may feel more like an attack than an intervention, so chat somewhere safe and private. In Jordan’s case, this was away from the house and other roommates. “I wrote the note. I was ready to go. Checking out,” he told Ana about a past suicide attempt. “And they found it and all that, but they found it before I could do anything.”
Without making him feel wrong for his actions, Anastasia suggested that Jordan talk to a professional about his feelings. Conversations with friends are an important part of the healing process, but friends alone can’t fix everything, As learned in previous episodes, Jordan prides himself on being right — but it’s totally OK to ask for help! Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK for 24/7 guidance, or contact a school counselor or a mental health professional in your community. If there is an immediate threat, call 911.
Props to Anastasia for being a good friend, and major love to Jordan for sharing his story with her and the rest of the world. If you or someone you know is going through a similar struggle, you’re not alone! Check out MTV’s Half Of Us for more tips and resources on being there for a friend.