Why don’t we talk about suicide?
We don’t talk about Bruno and we don’t talk about mental health issues.
Do we really wish to hide it or is it simply because we don’t know what to do about it? Why don’t we talk about suicide? Recently my family was hit by the shock and grief of death by suicide. It had a ripple effect on families, workplaces, schools, and communities. It also opened the door of the church and community for help and healing for the survivors.
How can we help prevent death by suicide?
Our hearts break for all those with heavy pain, those who struggle with depression and mental health issues and those who love them. Warning signs can be despair, self-focus, hopelessness, isolation, and destructive behavior. Ways to help can be removing a person from danger, not leaving them alone, removing dangerous objects, and talking about the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 27:13 reminds us of our hope and reason to live. God is our light and our salvation. Hope and help from just one person may be just what it takes to save a life. Be the friend who walks in the darkness with another. Acknowledge the brokenness. Be present. Offer love and kindness. Every person has worth because every person is made in God’s image. Every life has dignity and purpose.
Starting on July 16, 2022, 988 will be the designated number to call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This is just one of many groups that provide a listening ear, a connection, and resources to help people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis helping them feel less overwhelmed and more hopeful. The Crisis Text Line is another group that offers immediate help when you text in the US. They also have numbers for the UK, Canada, and Ireland.
Lifelines provide immediate support, but the best resource may be counseling in the local church and community. Counseling provides help and care that leads people away from tragic decisions. It offers a chance for healing and hope. What counseling resources are available in your church or community? Here is one search site to find a counselor in your area.
How can you get help if you struggle with suicidal thoughts?
We don’t talk about our mental health struggles because we know we are not supposed to have those horrible thoughts. We may believe the lies that we are bad and God does not love us anymore. We may love God deeply and still struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. Seek counseling. Make an appointment to see your doctor. Tell someone you are struggling. You won’t be a burden to them. Reach out to someone who loves you or call the lifeline. You matter. You are not alone in your struggles. Let’s talk about Bruno. Let’s talk about you. Let’s talk about real-life struggles. Let’s talk about God and his goodness. God is present in your pain. Let’s talk about hope.
There are no easy answers or quick fixes, but healing begins with knowing you are made in the image of God. Mental health issues do not define your value. Depression isn’t a weakness or a choice. You have worth!
Want more training to be able to help others?
Check out Alive to Thrive free training resources or this page of resources from Focus on the Family.
Table Talk: Who can you turn to when life feels hopeless? Who turns to you because they know you love them and care about them? What local counseling resources would you recommend to a friend?