Suicide Prevention: How Friends and Family Can Help

Merely Me Health Guide

    Today marks the 11th annual National Survivors of Suicide Day.  This day was created in 1999 through the initiative of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada who had lost his father to suicide.  The purpose of this day is for the survivors of suicide to connect as a community for healing, support, information and to help empower others who have lost a loved one to suicide.


    On this day nationwide conferences are being hosted across the country to promote suicide prevention and give support to survivors of suicide. For those of you who will not be able to attend any of the conferences the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention  web site will host a 90-minute broadcast today from 1-2:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time with a live on-line chat right after the program.  The program will be saved on the site so that you can view it any time. In order to see the AFSP broadcast please go to this link to register.

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    I know this is a very difficult topic to discuss and especially if you are a survivor of suicide.  I believe it is especially difficult for survivors during the holidays.  Please do not hesitate to reach out for support and help.  There are so many people whose lives are forever changed by suicide.  The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention site has a poster which says, "Every 16 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies by suicide" followed up by "Every 17 minutes someone is left to make sense of it."   The statistics are heartbreaking.  Someone out there right now is in need of help.  It could be your friend or someone in your family.  Or it could be you. 


    Prevention is so critical.  I cannot stress enough that if you or someone you know is in so much pain that it is becoming too difficult to cope I want you to seek some help for yourself or your loved one.  I can tell you that I have personally been at some low points in my life where I was contemplating how to end the pain.  I called one of the suicide hotlines and I will never forget what the crisis counselor told me, "The pain does not stop if you end your life, the pain will continue for everyone you leave behind."  Sometimes in our depression we think we are a burden and that people will be better off if we do not exist.  It isn't true.  Ask any of the survivor's of suicide and you will realize that they will carry that hurt and loss for the rest of their lives. 


    So again please reach out for help if you need it.   We are not a crisis center here on My Depression Connection.  We are not here 24 hours a day so if you are in need of immediate help I have listed some resources below.



    Here are some national hotline numbers to call if you are feeling like you cannot cope any longer and just want to end your pain.  These are 24 hour hotlines and there will be a counselor there to help you.  You can absolutely remain anonymous. 



    National Suicide Hopeline
    Phone: 800.784.2433


    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Phone: 800.273.8255


    If your loved one or friend is talking about suicide please call one of these numbers.  Don't wait.  Get help.  I know it may seem frightening to call someone but it could save your loved one's life.  If it is an emergency call 911. 


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    In addition here is a huge list of hotline numbers for most every circumstance you can think of.


    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) may also be of help.  Here is their number:  


    National Alliance on Mental Illness
    Phone: 800.950.NAMI (800.950.6264)


    I wish to encourage anyone who has a personal story to tell about this topic to share it here.  You will be helping others by doing so.  Thank you to all who participate on My Depression Connection.  You never know when your words may be the thing which helps someone to keep on going for another day.  Part of helping ourselves is to connect and reach out to others.  Share your story or comment to someone who needs some support.  It all helps.


Published On: November 21, 2009