It seems a day doesn’t go by without hearing about another suicide on the news, from a friend or a client who’s either dealing with the pain of loss or worse, having suicidal thoughts.
As a therapist I help clients deal with the devastating effects of death and the loss that accompanies it on a regular basis. I’m also trained and qualified to help clients who may be dealing with losing someone to suicide or are having suicidal thoughts themselves.
I, like most of you, have been directly affected by suicide and lost someone very close to me. Not only was I shocked and full of sadness, I was angry and raw with emotion. Losing a loved one to suicide can leave you broken. I understand. It’s not fair and it’s at times unexpected.
Suicide rates are on the rise. Basically 16 out of every 100,000 Americans will take their own life. Alarming.
A very common myth is there’s a link between suicide and mental illness. That is simply not true; the CDC found 54% of Americans who died by suicide had no known mental health illness. We’re all susceptible to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
Life consists of bumps in the road, and at times it tests our resolve. But tomorrow’s a new day, and next week can look completely different than this one! We all have purpose.
There are some “common issues” that can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide in adults:
- relationship issues
- financial troubles
- economic conditions
- deteriorating health
In kids age 5-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and in most cases the act- impulsive. Warning signs (adults and kids):
- changes in eating or sleeping habits
- frequent or pervasive sadness
- withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities
- emotional symptoms: stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
- for kids: declining grades at school
- for adults: calling in sick often, or not working
- preoccupied with death and dying
Reach Out for Help
Whether you’re an adult or child and you’re having suicidal thoughts, talking to someone is key. If you don’t have a family member or friend you feel comfortable confiding in, here are the numbers you can call for help.
If you feel it’s an emergency, dial 911
US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson