Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 24, 2013

Don’t ignore signs of someone contemplating suicide

— Everyone has issues that they have to deal with in their lives. It’s when we become overwhelmed and our issues become so drastic that they are unbearable that the results can be catastrophic. Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable.

A person contemplating suicide may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. Few individuals with suicidal thoughts truly want to die; they just want the suffering to end. This is when family members, friends or even strangers on the street can make a difference. The simplest step in suicide prevention is an open and honest question or two to the person you are concerned about. Talking to someone having suicidal thoughts can be extremely difficult for anyone, and can save a life.

When talking to a distraught person, be yourself. The perfect words are not important but a concerned dialogue with the person is paramount. Take the time to listen. Don’t be abrupt or judgmental. Offer hope and reassurance that you and others care and together you can find help. Don’t be afraid to ask if they are contemplating suicide, its OK for them to share the pain with you.

Look for the suicide warning signs in those you may be concerned about. Do they talk about suicide or have obtained lethal means in the recent past? Have they experienced drastic change in their lifestyle with feelings of despair, hopelessness, self loathing or even hatred? Are they now becoming withdrawn from others they cared about or perhaps putting their affairs in order? These can be telling signs that someone you love may be contemplating suicide. Be strong, be loving, be yourself and ask them to talk. That moment may be the moment in time you save a life.

— John Hulewicz

Elkhart County Suicide

Prevention Coalition