Saturday, December 5th, 2020

Support someone having suicidal thoughts

Posted: Friday, September 4, 2020

Source: Purdue Extension Office

During this week, people nationwide will host vigils, seek education and offer resources to those struggling with suicidal thoughts. Purdue Extension Huntington County is offering four virtual programs during this week: Tuesday at 3 p.m. – Virtual Trivia Game; Wednesday at 5 p.m. – Virtual Art Class; Thursday at 5 p.m. – Virtual Recovery Panel and Friday at 3 p.m. – Virtual Self Care Party. The link to join the virtual program can be accessed on the Purdue Extension Huntington County Facebook page or by contacting Caroline Everidge at cneverid@purdue.edu.

There are people fighting a very personal battle in the midst of the collective dangers of this unprecedented pandemic – people who are questioning whether to continue to live through the emotional pain they are experiencing. Some people who were “on the fence” – ambivalent about life versus death before – may find hope and resolve to live, motivated by the fear of having the choice to live or die taken away. Others’ pain may increase, fueled by fear, isolation, anxiety and loss.

Although our face to face interactions may be limited it is more important than ever to be vigilant for those around us to know the signs. Staying connected with regular check-ins is essential so we can recognize the warning signs. If you are worried that someone is having thoughts of suicide, the next step is to find the words and reach out. It’s important to talk openly about suicide and to ask directly: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Are you having thoughts of ending your life?” The website SuicideIsPreventable.org offers information about how to Know the Signs, Find the Words and Reach Out.

Each of us can support someone while they find their reasons for living by sharing hope and letting them know they are not alone. Our role is less about “fixing the problem” or convincing them to stay, and more about being present and listening as they search for their own reasons for living.

You are not alone. If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone else, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255. Skilled and trained counselors are available 24/7 to talk, answer questions, and help you navigate this challenging situation. You are not alone, and help is a phone call or chat away.