Suicide prevention: We have to talk to each other
You can know suicide prevention left and right, and still not see the suicide of a loved one coming; this is why we have to dig deeper in conversations
Suicide prevention isn’t something we just use at work. That training is something we need to carry with us every day, all day long. I have found myself in what seemed like the darkest deepest pit of depression imaginable. So much so that I began asking myself the questions I would ask an inmate. I was able to assess the level of danger I was to myself and I took action to get help. I removed items that could most readily be used to harm myself. I didn’t want to, but it wasn’t easy.
You have to keep in mind, no matter how hard it is, that this will pass. Talk to someone you trust, someone you know will look out for you. Call your employee assistance line. Talk to a counselor. If you are to the point that you simply can’t trust yourself, go to a hospital. There’s no shame in it. Everyone has low times and anyone can succumb to depression.
One time, I was listening to a friend blow off some steam. He doing his usual complaining about something his girlfriend did to piss him off. Ranting about an argument he had with his daughter. These were normal things. He was in good spirits for the most part. Even though he was ranting about this and that it wasn’t anything alarming.
Two days later he made an angry post on Facebook and then shot himself in the head in the middle of his living room.
You can know suicide prevention left and right, then talk to someone hours away from killing themselves and not see it. Suicide prevention is something you have to apply to every conversation. Even if it doesn’t seem like that person is actually near that point, if they are upset, dig just a little to be safe, especially with people in our profession. Our coworkers and ourselves can reach that point incredibly quick, and for what may seem to be no good reason.
I have also applied these techniques in conversations with my stepson and with my daughter at one time or another. They ended up being OK. There were red flags talking to them that I decided should be investigated. Unfortunately there is not always a red flag to check out. Diligence in this area is possibly the only thing that could save the life of a friend, loved one or yourself at some point in time.
This is for those that have never felt the kind of depression that leads to suicide. Before you judge someone who is or was going through something like this you need to remember, until you have felt what these people feel you cannot criticize their actions.
Someone at the point that they will take their own life is in an incredibly dark place. They see no way out. No, they’re not considering the effect on their loved ones because they are so absorbed by this feeling of depression that they do not have the ability to consider another person’s feelings.
It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they cannot care. Instead of judging someone in a place like this, pull them out.