The hotlines are great resources, but they can never replace the support of people in our lives everyday.
“Ultimately, though, the future of suicide prevention is a holistic approach, both in our own lives and in public policies. It thrives on a feeling of responsibility for each other ? one that exists beyond just posting a phone number and relying on the people on the other end to do the tough work.”
There are a number of things we can do beyond giving out a number discussed in the article below. But I want to focus on where a hotline or public resource should fit in the grand scheme of my own head. As I said, they are a great resource. They exist as a place for people to turn when they don’t know where else to turn, for mental health support, or suicide prevention. There’s nothing wrong with placing them on a website or sharing them on social media so that people are aware of them.
But think about this. If someone you are close to and care about told you they were struggling with their mental health, and concerned about their own safety, would you give them the number to call and walk away? I hope not. I hope you would sit with them, listen to them, and heck maybe call the number with them and go through that process with them. No one expects you to have all the answers, after all, just to care.
The truth of the matter is, and this article points it out, many people call these hotlines not because they are suicidal, but because they are struggling and have no one in their lives they can talk to.
Can you be that person for them? Not for everyone and anyone, but for the people in your life? Do the people you care about know they have somewhere to turn, or will they have nowhere else to go but a hotline? What can you do to make sure they know that someone will listen?