In the past year or two, I have known of multiple people who committed suicide. These people were friends or family of people I know, and in three instances, people who were friends with one of my family members.
It’s heartbreaking that these people saw their only way out of a hopeless situation was ending it all. It’s also sad to see the hurt, possible guilt, and confusion that those who are left behind need to deal with.
Suicide has been on the rise throughout the world, and something needs to change, because there is so much to live for.
If you have been considering suicide or are on the verge of taking your own life, I want you to know that suicide is not the answer. No matter how hopeless things seem. The world isn’t better off without you.
Whether or not you believe in God, He put you here for a reason. You are loved. You are precious.
In times when it feels like the world is crashing in on you, when it feels like no one cares, or things will never ever get better, it’s hard to think or believe that. But it’s true.
I know it can sound rich. No one knows what you are going through. Not really.
And there are genuinely people out there who really have it terrible even by bad standards. But this isn’t how it’s meant to be. No matter what you have been told or led to believe, this broken world isn’t what God originally had in mind for you or me.
Speak to Someone You Can Trust
Mental health has taken a backseat to physical health for so many years, but things are changing. There are campaigns creating awareness everywhere and the stigma is breaking.
It can be tough to admit that you might need help. It might be scary or embarrassing, but we all need a little help sometimes.
Speaking to a trusted friend or a family member about issues in your life can really help, but there are also other options available if you don’t feel comfortable doing that.
Seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist can really help. Not only will you get professional help, but it gives you the opportunity to speak to someone who has no affiliation with you. This can be very freeing. You don’t need to worry about being judged.
But what if you can’t afford to see a therapist?
Churches, synagogues, mosques, etc, usually offer counselling and often it’s for free or you can donate some money.
There are also non-profit organisations who have volunteer counsellors who can speak to you on the phone or organise to see you. Their websites also often list useful resources.
SADAG: 0800 456 789 (24 hr line) or 0800 567 567 (suicide emergency line)
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 (24 hr line)
ADAA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
AFSP: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
You can find suicide hotlines here for whichever country you are in.
What Can the Rest of Us Do?
Firstly, we can’t be responsible for other people’s happiness. We can’t carry the world on our shoulders. If you are helping to take care of someone who struggles with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness that puts them at risk, chat to their therapist or a therapist about how to help them.
With people in general, one of the best things that we can do is to treat everyone the way that we would like to be treated. With kindness and respect.
Here is how you can go that one step further:
- If you notice something is off, check in with someone. Even if they reject this, at least they know that you cared enough to notice and to ask how they are or let them know that you are there if they need to talk.
- If you see someone who’s lonely, strike up a conversation or include them in one of your get-togethers.
- Smile at people. It’s free 🙂
- If you are christian, pray for them or even better yet, pray with them if they let you.
Remember to take out time to take care of yourself. Do things that you enjoy and make time to relax. Even if it’s just a bubble bath once a week, or a daily cup of coffee. See your friends and family or if you live far apart, phone them or Skype with them.
This post is a little bit dark, so I apologise for that, but it is something that we can’t keep ignoring. Life, as beautiful and wonderful as it is, is also a battle.
It’s my hope that we can all be a light to each other in the darkness. However small, a light will still defeat the darkness.