Suicide. It is a painful, traumatic event. An event where a loved one finds themselves in such a dark place that they feel there is no way out. While this is not true and there is always a way out, the path out is rarely illuminated without another person there to help guide that hurting person out of despair.
As painful as it is to acknowledge, when I look up the statistics for our home state, Montana, I see that we are back in the #1 slot for suicide per capita. This is a terrible place we find ourselves in. One that can be downright frightening, especially if you have a family member who struggles with mental illness or suicidal thoughts/tendencies.
Fear is crippling. Fear on the side of the one suffering from mental illness, or the family member, loved one, friend, co-worker, or even acquaintance of the person suffering from the illness.
This is where the rubber meets the road! This is where we can and must act! Swiftly, precisely, and with no regard to our own personal time, or inconvenience. This is our time to save a life! The wonderful thing we have on our side is that, while the person struggling with suicide is still alive, they are so often looking for that person to share their time, and illuminate their path out! Just a simple act of giving your time and attention can lead to a person finding freedom from hopelessness!
Words into Actions: Dealing with the REAL!
I love to say that people are people! It doesn’t matter! Nothing matters, other than that we are all people! We must remember that, and hold to the fact that no one is better than anyone else.
This is where I like our “U’s” or “US” from last week.
Understandingly– Knowing that if we ask a question, we don’t in any way control the answer, if, in fact, an “answer” is what we seek.
Uniquely– Each person in our lives is Unique! This is such a cool thing, and when we see it and stop attempting to make those around “Us” “UN” unique we win.
Underwear(ly) or at least (ee)- We all put it on one leg at a time, and at the end of the day they all stink!
SO DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LESS THAN OR NOT WORTH THE TIME OR EFFORT TO IMPROVE. YOU ARE!
With Suicidal concern:
These are some important things to remember in the moment. Ask the person a few questions:
- Do they have suicidal thoughts?
- Do they have a plan to harm themselves?
- Do they have the intent to carry out that plan?
Do’s and Don’ts:
Do Document that plan
Do Call 911 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room
Don’t leave them alone
Don’t rest until they are in capable hands at the local emergency room
Make sure that they have a plan of recovery when they leave and be their support getting them into therapy post-release. They need a person to be there and speak for them, and you could be the person who saved a life! So great to give!