This second week of September is National Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is an anguished cry for help from someone who feels so alone, so lost, that there is no other option for them. I can’t even begin to imagine what that might feel like, but my heart aches. My own brother took his own life because he was in such pain. He had 3 dresser drawers filled with self-help books, trying to figure himself out and help himself. But he could not find an answer to the “problem of himself” as he saw it. No other way... For him, he did not recognize or believe that God was always there for him and with him, or that other people were really there for him. And maybe he could not believe that he deserved it. We all saw his pain and tried to reach out with help. Honestly, no one really knows how to be there for or reach out to someone in such anguish. Please try anyway. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers five steps to help someone who may be considering suicide.
- Ask if they are considering suicide. Asking someone if they are considering killing themselves does not put the idea in their head. Do not be afraid to ask!
- If someone admits to considering suicide, it is important to seek immediate medical attention, especially if they shared their plan with you or have access to firearms.
- If they are willing to talk, do not lecture or correct. Listen without judgment and with empathy. Let them know they have a shoulder to lean on when they need.
- Help them find a support system. Those who have attempted to harm themselves are often at risk of another attempt at suicide.
- Follow up with them. It could mean preventing thoughts of suicide or another attempt.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
MINNEAPOLIS Suicide Crisis Hotline Love Lines Crisis Center (612) 379-1199 24 hours/7 days