Suicide Prevention

Many of you are aware of the recent tragedies in our community.  We offer our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those that were affected.  It is important in these times, that communities gather together and create positive experiences.  Everyone should make a greater effort to be aware of others.  Do something nice for someone else, give a smile to those that you pass, and take the time to listen.

Suicide is a real problem.  We wanted to share some resources for those seeking help, and for those who want to know what they can do to make a difference.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7/365 to provide confidential counseling in a crisis. People have called us for help with substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and even loneliness. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you'll be connected to a skilled trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

How Can I Help My Friends?

If someone you know is exhibiting any of the warning signs listed above, here are some things you can do to help.

  • Ask directly if your friend is thinking about suicide.

  • Be willing to listen. Allow their expressions of feelings, and accept those feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don't lecture on the value of life. Focus on being present with their feelings.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Check in with your friend regularly. Schedule times to talk for the next week when you will both be available, to see how they are doing.
  • Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you. Be patient with yourself and the situation.
  • Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills
  • Get help from agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • Encourage (and offer to accompany) your friend to seek help and support from a crisis specialist, therapist, doctor and/or clergy member.
  • Show them the safety or “crisis coping plan” on the Lifeline web site, and talk together about your friend can use this to help him/her to cope in these difficult moments.