“I fight for a World Without Suicide because I know its possible.”
Today for World Suicide Prevention Day, I don’t want to talk about the negatives. What I really want to talk about is how we can stop suicide. How each of us, in our own small ways can create BIG change together.
There are just my ideas and thoughts, I’d love to hear yours.
How We Can Fight Suicide:
We can fight stigma by openly sharing our struggles. Think about it, if we aren’t ashamed of our own mental health issues, if we dare to speak out and tell our story, others won’t feel alone or ashamed when they suffer. They can say “me too” and there truly is strength in numbers.
We can educate ourselves and watch closely for the warning signs of suicide and when we suspect, take action. If you suspect, be direct “Are you thinking about suicide?” I know that fear often keeps us from saying something or doing something when we suspect a loved one is suffering. We think saying the word will encourage them. We don’t think we’re qualified to help. But I’m here to tell you two things. #1 Talking about suicide will not encourage them to do it. That is a HUGE myth. #2 It is NOT your job to “save” someone. It is however your job to get your loved one to someone who is qualified to help them. So let go of the fear that you have to do it all. But please whatever you do, ask them, take it seriously, and help them find treatment.
So how do you find treatment? If they have a plan and/or a method available, take them to the ER or call 911. Its a crisis situation, and those resources are there for a reason. USE THEM. If a loved one is struggling, thinking of suicide but does not have a plan, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline–800-273-TALK (8255). Hold their hand if necessary and make the phone call for them. The Lifeline will give you information for local crisis resources in your area.
We can listen with an open hear and without judgement. You might not fully understand your loved one’s struggles. You may not have experience with depression or addiction yourself. But you CAN make them feel loved and cared for, and many times that’s what a person in pain needs. Its not your job to “fix” them or “save” them, but to listen and get them help if and when they need it.
A Few Things You Can Do Today for World Suicide Prevention Day:
- Create and share your own photos and videos–>like mine above–about why you fight/dream/hope for a #WorldWithoutSuicide on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to tag @AFSPNational AND if you tag me at @AFSP_WA, I’ll be sure to RT and share! Thanks for spreading the word. We are stronger together.
- Light a candle–>At 8pm (your local time), light a candle in a window to show support for suicide prevention and to remember those loved ones lost to suicide.
- Tweet or Facebook THIS–>Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Learn about suicide risk factors & save lives. Visit afsp.org #WorldWithoutSuicide