*The month of September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The reality of suicide has touched the lives of several of the writers at The Grit & Grace Project so we are taking the opportunity to share our hearts.
As the daughter of someone who took their own life, there are things I have learned since that fateful day. I am in no way an expert, but in searching for answers I have gleaned a few things from those who are. If life had a do-over I would have done these things prior to my father’s death, and I want to share them with you:
1. Do not dismiss their level of depression.
It does not matter how full of life they may have been in the past. If they are deeply struggling, the possibility of suicide is real and should not be ignored.
2. Ask. Then listen.
Ask if they are having thoughts of suicide, then don’t offer the “life is worth living” platitudes, and don’t judge, just listen.They need someone to talk to.
3. Never keep their suicidal thoughts a secret.
This is a call to action, not a privacy concern.
4. Share the responsibility.
Find professionals, counselors, or partners who have experience and can help.
5. Reassure and offer hope.
They need to know they are not alone. Acknowledge their struggle and make sure they know help is available.
6. Do not be afraid to act immediately if suicide appears to be imminent.
You will never be sorry for acting too soon; experiencing the “too late” will hold deeper sorrow.
If someone you love is struggling with depression and contemplating suicide—don’t be passive. Step up; step in; you will never regret that you did.