Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. As it seems that we keep hearing more and more about high profile celebrities taking their own lives, there are probably more and more people that are the stars in YOUR life that are taking their own lives. Suicide isn't fun to talk about. Frankly, mental health issues aren't fun to talk about, but we have to create more safe spaces for people who suffer in silence to feel better about talking about their sadness, despair and inner hurt. At the end of the day, people really do care. Social media makes it seem like we live these busy, self absorbed lives, but that's not always the case. If you don't feel ok, talk to someone. If you don't get a response, talk to someone else. I KNOW someone cares about your well being and would be really upset if you left us.
If you suspect someone you know may be suicidal, here are some things you can do to help:
1. ASK. Privately ask this person if they are suicidal. Studies show that doesn't plant an idea in their head, but instead, lets them know that you are open to talking with them. If they open up and admit to feeling suicidal, don't act shocked and don't minimize their feelings.
2. KEEP THEM SAFE. Ask them if they have a plan and help minimize their risk. Take away lethal weapons.
3. BE THERE. Check on them. Give them a call. Ask them to coffee. A lot of times people have suicidal thoughts and they pass. Stay on top of them.
4. HELP THEM CONNECT. Encourage them to seek support. Give them the suicide lifeline number (1-800-273-8255).
5. FOLLOW UP. Keep calling and texting. Ask them if there is anything more you can do.