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Suicide Prevention Month


When someone is ready to take their own life there is no-one who can stop them. You might be able to delay the inevitable, but you won't be able to keep them from doing it. You could lock them in a padded cell for the rest of their life, but haven't you still accomplished the same thing-- A life that is not lived?


Often depression can feel like you are all alone in the world. That others don't understand the depth of your despair and that to try to explain what you are feeling takes too much energy for the little empathy others are able to give you. Seldom do your friends and family have the tools to to help and so they want to solve your depression by telling you what you "should do" so they can feel better. Words they think are encouraging are actually damaging, "Get over it", "Move on", and "Isn't it about time you let that go?" really do nothing to help the person who is stuck in grief at all. Pouring your unrealistic expectations on them can be the thing that actually pushes them over the edge toward suicide.


People grieve over all types of loss. You don't have to lose a loved one to Covid-19, but that certainly could have brought you to grief. It could be the loss of your job that results in similar symptoms as that of grieving a death. You could be grieving the loss of normalcy and you can grieve for the loss of your home in a fire. Grief knows no boundaries or limitations. It is felt just as deeply for yourself as it can for another. Grief is trauma and trauma needs to be addressed or it can cause physical as well as psychological consequences if left untended.


So what can you do?

Listen.


Often just allowing someone to share their grief with another is helpful. Give no advise, no counsel, and no directives. If you have been depressed or had similar grief, don't share that experience until you're ASKED for it. Unsolicited advise can sound critical and condemnation is not what they need in this moment.


The best help for someone who is stuck in depression is to help them get to a therapist who specializes in grief and loss. Most therapists can help, but often therapists who don't specialize in grief will also have difficulty knowing how to help. Make some phone calls for your friend, be proactive in getting her the help. Don't just say, "You need help," give her the help she needs to take the first step to recovery. One website that advertises therapists is PsychologyToday.com You can review therapists biographies by zip code and select a few to interview before you schedule the appointment. Make sure they take your insurance, they have openings that match your availability, and ask other questions you may have specific to you or your friend's needs.


Listen without judgment. Emphasize with them and put your arm around them to help support them through this crisis. Love them unconditionally. You may be saving their life.


To learn more about suicide prevention download the form below.


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