Talk about it. Really–that’s often all anyone has to do, open up communication. So many people who consider suicide get themselves spun so tightly inward that nothing outside of them can be seen. The bleakness takes over. It’s not just rosy and carefree, but having someone listen, and HEAR, can truly make a huge difference. There is a reason we have had suicide prevention hotlines for generations–talking matters.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Bring it up around the dinner table–be innocuous, be direct, but bring it up. Young people, especially, don’t recognize the resources that they have. Just reaching out can interrupt an uncontrolled spiral–and it can be done anonymously. Every single one of us should know how to direct someone to call and reach out via a hotline in our area, and national programs like To Write Love on Her Arms (twloha.com, an entire list of helplines and resources is here), and The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org, Toll-free Lifeline: 866-488-7386).
I’ve worked hotlines–while you are not hoping to hear pain on the other end of the line when you pick up the phone–you pray with every breath that somebody IS calling instead of not dialing and going through something alone. In a perfect world, nobody would call and you’d stare at the calls waiting, because your hotline services weren’t needed—unfortunately, in THIS world, you want the phone to ring because it means somebody wants to be heard, and is giving a stranger a chance to make a crucial difference.
Pick up the phone. Make sure your kids and friends know who to call. Think about volunteering in that capacity if it calls to you–your life will never be the same.