Healthy Lifestyle

Dealing with Thoughts of Suicide

Two more celebrities who seemed to have everything together chose to take their own lives. If those who have “fame and fortune” find life impossible to take, what about those who live lives that are “usual and ordinary”?

Struggling with Life

Every day, there are people around us who struggle with life. It is not always easy to recognize when that struggle is close to being fatal, especially when it doesn’t seem obvious. If the person does not seem down or depressed, they must be okay, right?

It is hard to see through the masks that others put up to hide their thoughts and it is scary to put a voice to those thoughts. That makes it harder to see when a friend or family member may be close to the decision to end their life.

Feelings of hopelessness

The feelings that can lead a person to that choice include hopelessness and the belief that if they continue living they will be a burden to those around them. 

If someone you know has ever talked about feeling that way, there is reason to be concerned. More importantly, if they have talked that way one day and the next day they don’t seem to have a care in the world, please take notice. This could be a sign they have decided to die and are at peace with the decision.

What you can do

Be present. 
Ask the hard questions. 
Make others aware. 
Point out the unexpected change. 
Try to not be afraid of offending them. 
Remind them of those who care.

When suicide happens

It is important to remember that no matter what you do, your friend or family member may choose to end their life anyway. You did not cause it. Drug or alcohol use may contribute to an impulsive decision.

There is help

Whether it is a friend, family member, or perhaps if you have thoughts of suicide, there are ways to get help. If the company you work for has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), that is a great place to start. You can also call a hotline to speak with a trained counselor. One great local resource is the Boys Town National Hotline at 800-448-3000. 

Resources like these are very important. But perhaps just as important are the friends and families of those who are considering suicide. Don’t ignore sudden changes in behavior, whether negative or positive. Be available at inconvenient times. Demonstrate care without conditions. Most of all, just be there.

You may be the one that helps another stay alive one more day.

About the Author

Terry Coleman, MA, LIPC, is Clinical Services Manager at Best Care EAP. In his role, he oversees a staff of eight behavioral health counselors who provide short-term counseling to employees of contracted companies. His mission is to provide the highest quality care to those who seek our help. 

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