*Scroll down if you are looking for the resources I compiled for you (of which there are many)!*
Are You Suicidal?
Hi there. I guess you’re reading this post because you are suicidal. Or maybe you are just curious. You might be a support person–that’s great too. But if you are thinking about taking your life, I can I have your time for just a moment?
I believe that you matter. That your life matters, yes. But you aren’t just “a life”, are you? “A life” is just a blip in time, a soul briefly here in the universe, a fading flower of God’s creation–whatever you believe. But you need to believe that you aren’t just another life in the void.
You need to believe that you, you yourself . . . you matter.
I know you do. We might have never met. I don’t know your story. Heck, I might have walked by you in a store today or ignored your Instagram request. Just lived surviving my own life–and I didn’t see you.
But you are seen, here and now. You aren’t alone right now. Do you feel that precence? It doesn’t matter whether you do or don’t. It is there, calling you to live another day because you matter.
I’m going to be honest for a second. I’ve never thought about killing myself. Not once. Not only do I get stuck on the “how” (shhh…set all your “how’s” aside for a minute), but I have never felt like that depth of hopelessness. Nor have I ever felt that death by suicide was the hope.
I’ve been depressed–post postpartum depression was no joke. And I have wanted to hide in bed all day in grief. I struggle greatly with anxiety. I’ve had some up’s and down’s. But probably nothing like yours. I don’t know what your past has looked like to bring you to this point. I don’t know what horrors you’ve endured or the shame that is clamped up inside. You might not even know.
You might just be numb.
But although I haven’t been there and I don’t know your story, let me be a beacon of hope. At least in this moment.
I’ve had a few friends who have attempted. I have had acquaintances who’ve succeeded. I’ve walked with them. I’ve heard their stories. There is a reason they were suicidal. Just like there is a reason that you are.
But this is true: when you feel like there is no reason to live, there is a reason to live. Please choose life today; tonight.
You can do this. You can choose one more day.
I’ve seen many miracles happen. I’ve seen people who should have died by suicide be given second chances. I have held friends as they’ve sobbed, arguing between life and death. I’ve watched people who thought they had no strength become stronger everyday, step-by-step, away from that abyss and into hope and life. I’ve been there as some fell backwards and been there as they picked-up, brushed-off, and keep going. Those who used to be hopeless become the greatest guides for healing.
I can say with 100% confidence you don’t know how resilient you are. You are deeply valuable and loved: YOU ARE LOVED AS YOU ARE. Even when you don’t yet believe that there is a path of freedom for you.
But there is a path of freedom. You might not believe in the grace of God or the promise of “fully alive” in Jesus. I do, though. And my faith is based on the person of Jesus, not on religious evangelicals arguing at a political rally. When you’re ready, I’ll invite you to discover who Jesus is with me. But let me tell you something about His character: I know He didn’t come to condemn you (John 3:17). He came to be a doctor to the broken, to heal the hurting, and be the bread of hope for those hungry. He was the enough to make up for what we don’t have. Just ask Him! Seek Him out; He’ll show Himself to you. He probably already is.
But I am not asking you to just jump onto what I believe. I don’t expect you to embrace my faith. I only share this because it is why I am here. I am here, writing this post, because Jesus has been here for me. And I believe He asked me to write this post. He knows you will be reading this and wants you to see that you are seen. And together–God and I–we ask you to hang on to life.
This is your sign and invitation to live.
Now for the practical stuff. There is actually help out there for you. But you have to want it.
You can go to a hospital for a mental health stay. But that won’t change you, or make you less suicidal.
You can get on all the meds–some probably helpful (others maybe not so much). Meds can’t just be a Band-Aid, numbing the pain, when you need surgery.
You can look at a list of resources and never call their numbers. Never text. Never be vulnerable. Never make the life changes to prioritize your own life.
But when you want to stay alive–which I am praying so hard you do–here are some of my favorite resources and posts. Just scroll below.
Oh, and thank you for getting help. You are worth it.
Who to Talk To if Your Struggling with Suicidal Ideation (Or bookmark this for when you need it!)
24/7 Crisis Hotline: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
- 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Veterans: Press 1
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Option
- Text a trained crisis counselor 24/7: TALK to 741-741
- Send a text to 838255
Suicide Prevention for LBGTQ youth: The Trevor Project
Safe Space Coping Tools: I Need Help
- Call 1-800-273-8255 or Chat
Find Your Local Crisis Center or Hotline here
- San Diego Hotline is (888) 724-7240
Orgs/Websites That Will Support You:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA): Find Help
You Matter: Suicide Prevention Hotline
Resources at Average Advocate:
Suicide Prevention: And It Was Hard Before Coronavirus
UnZombie: Loving Someone Out of the Darkness
A Thousand Steps: When Suicide Has a Name
Three Ways to Care For Yourself as a Support Person, Sponsor or Friend
When Social Justice Becomes Family
We Are All Affected By Mental Health
Many people struggle with suicidal ideation because of past trauma and need to go down that path of healing. Here are some resources for you:
Trauma Informed Everyday Advocacy
Awareness of Trauma Within the Church
How Our Stories Heal Us and Prevent Burnout
I Love Jesus But I Want to Die by Sarah H. Robinson
Out of the Cave by Chris Hodges
Project Semicolon by Amy Bleuel
Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life by Christie Tate
Apps to Put on Your Phone:
My3 (anti-suicide plan and support people to call when struggling suicidal ideation)
Education or Guidance for Support People
If you are supporting a friend, family member, or whomever who is struggling with suicidal ideation, it can be difficult to know what level of care the person you are supporting needs. These are things I wish I knew much earlier!
1.)If you are unsure if the person you are caring for needs to be admitted to a hospital because of the the degree of suicidal ideation, some of the assessments below are what professionals use during a mental health wellness check. I love these tools. If you don’t feel confident leaving the person you care about alone, you can make sure they aren’t alone! Presence always matters. If you can’t make sure they aren’t with someone who is actively “watching” them and/or they are acting more obsessive about suicidal thoughts, they have a plan and/or seem “not present” (dissociative) or numb, please bring them to a hospital. If you are unsure, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
2.) Something else I wish I also knew is that you can call for a PERT (Psychiatric Emergency Response Team) to check-in on anyone you are supporting who isn’t near to you. Call 911 or that region’s local police department, and they will go directly to the address you give them to do a wellness check. Your friend or family member might be upset at you for calling (even by getting their address in a sneaky way, “to send them an encouragement card”), but their anger is worth them being alive. Note: sometimes PERT isn’t called PERT everywhere, but if you ask for a mental health wellness check, that should work.
Besides all the above already recommended lists (which also have a lot of guidance for support people), these are some other good resources.
Zero Suicide (toolkit, framework and assessments)
#Bethe1to (Be The One To Save a Life)
Support For Suicidal Individuals on Digital and Social Media
Follow-Up Matters (How to assess suicide risk and how to follow-up after an attempt)
SAMHSA SAFE-T Suicide Risk Assessment
One Day At a Time
Please feel free to reach out or connect. I know my bandwidth prevents me from walking with everyone through their journey, which is why I am so passionate about connecting you with those who can walk with you through your journey via the above resources. Yet I still want to extend the invitation to contact me, for I can at least remind you that you are seen and encourage you onward.
For support people: Just a little reminder, you matter too. Many of my blog posts have been written for everyday people finding themselves advocating for a person, community, or social issue. Take solace in that you aren’t alone. There is support for you too. You will need it. I beg you to allow yourself that grace.