It’s hard for me to imagine someone not wanting to be alive. Yet such feelings happen ALL the time. It is highly likely that people you know and love are thinking of ending their lives.

Living in a beautiful area provides no immunity from depression and anxiety. In fact, it can exacerbate the frustration of feeling helpless. People will move to a place which has all the beauty one can imagine hoping to find peace and serenity.  Yet they still feel down and out. They think: “If living in a place of such magnificence doesn’t help. Well then nothing will. I might as well end it all.”

This past weekend I attended the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). We learned about the “invitations” for help which people at risk often are often sending. Access to pills, alcohol and other substances can accentuate their problems. Access to friends, family, and fellowship can lessen their loneliness. They want someone to notice their plight. They want someone to care, to understand, to help. Talking about it is essential. Finding someone to confide in is often the key to opening a new door to possibilities and perspectives.

Don’t be afraid to say the word “suicide.” Speak it out. It shows you care. Ask the question like this: “Are you thinking of ending your life?” This is not an intrusion. It is a response to their invitation for you to intervene. Be there for the person. Reinforce anything that might realistically support safety. There are interventionists ready to talk to anyone 24/7. In the USA, the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Let me know if you need help or want to help. We are on this planet together.

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