Dwade picks out some excellent quotes that have helped. Some of these were familiar to me, other were not. This one though, hit home for me: ““I wonder if it will rain after we die. When you kill yourself, you don’t know what happens next, afterward.” ~Albert Borris Once again, this one gives me an…
The suggestion is that more focus should be on triggering events for men; breakups, job loss, and other traumas. That is true. The findings make it clear that a combination of triggering events, alcohol/drugs, and gun ownership will increase the likelihood of suicides.
Here’s the thing, though. I can’t help but wonder if the reason this combination is so deadly is not so much because men do not have mental health issues and then are suddenly contemplating suicide at the first sign of trauma, but that this is simply the final straw in a prolonged mental health struggle that they have never talked to anyone about.
Choosing to tell your story for the first time or to a more public audience is not a decision you want to take lightly. Many of us who have done it and are “public” about our past or current issues can tell you that while there are great things that can come from sharing, there are also things you should be prepared for.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was not prepared for things. As much as I have never regretted starting this site and sharing my story, there have been times when it’s been a bit awkward. Times I did not think enough about ahead of time and might have handled differently if I had thought more about it.
So, with that in mind, let me share this resource from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
I’m not a researcher but these two facts make me wonder if there’s not something we can do.
If we have a list of “nudges” that can help people feel like they belong or help educate people about things like safety plans, etc. and we don’t know who is at risk and which nudge might help them, maybe we should just continue to generally be kind to the people around us. That means trying to understand what makes them feel supported, connected, etc., and doing those things consistently. It also means noticing if a “nudge” has the opposite effect, and trying something different instead.
Help people feel like they belong, educate people about prevention resources, help them stay connected to family and friends, involve them, accept them, etc.
Help your friends and loved ones by communicating the kinds of things that help you. When you feel disconnected or like you are a burden, what can they do to keep you connected? What things do they do that make it worse?
When we don’t talk about these things we only make it worse, and we only continue to lose more people. We have to learn how to have these conversations. We have to be open to listening to the people closest to us and connecting to them without stigma and judgment. The researchers will keep working to learn more about prevention, but in the meantime simply caring about each other and being honest with each other is the best tool we have. We should use it.
Cook Children’s Health Care System in Texas has started a new podcast about kids’ mental health as part of their Joy Campaign which is a suicide prevention communication initiative.