Search Results for: suicide prevention

Connecting Suicide Prevention Day with 9-11

By LWS:

Yesterday was Suicide Prevention Day. Today we remember 9-11.  How are they connected?

 

Image by smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net

God loves people of all cultures and races and hates to see broken hearts as a result of suicide. [Image: smarnad / FreeDigitalphotos.net]

Here at our site Thinking About Suicide, we have many stories from people who have survived and thrived after initially considering suicide. We focus on how a life given over to Jesus Christ can turn in a whole new direction to find hope where hope was previously lacking.

We also have had articles focusing on various causes of suicide: chronic depression, mental illness, and physical, chemical and nutritional imbalances. (See our Categories.) In those articles, we often try to direct people to medical help as well as faith for suicide prevention. We hope many who struggle were able to see our articles on Suicide Prevention Day.

However, one cause of suicide we’ve never discussed is suicide with the goal of taking one’s life in addition to taking the lives of others. Suicide-murder has been known to happen in domestic violence cases. However, 9-11 is a good example of that kind of tragedy on a much larger scale.

In domestic violence, murder-suicide is a mistaken solution often used to regain a sense of control–especially if the partner has attempted to leave. Tragically, this solution often prevents the present and eternal hope that could have been found through Christ.  Such a tragedy will leave brokenhearted family members behind, as well as eliminate any chance for the abuser or the victim to have the opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ in order to find a fresh start or a new life.

Terrorism is also related to control and punishment, but those who commit suicide with these ideas in mind often have a misguided belief that such actions please God. But the God of Abraham is one of love, one of forgiveness. Acts of terrorism also leave brokenhearted family members behind on both sides — all people who God loves and hurts for.

To help bridge the gap between God and man, God sent a Savior—His own son.  In order to discover how to live in God’s love, visit GodTest.com.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Day, please pause and pray for all family members who have lost someone from the tragedy of suicide. We also urge you to explore our articles under Suicide Prevention.

Chat, Listen, Love: Video and Texting for Suicide Prevention

By PeggySue Wells:

Learn about Remedy.fm, a Christian broadcast ministry using video and texting for suicide prevention.

Ask for help

“In our six years, we helped prevent 70 suicide attempts,” said Clinton Faupel, director of Remedy.fm.

We chat, we listen, we love is the motto for this web based broadcast ministry that produces on-demand video and radio content based on a Biblical worldview. Heard in 176 countries, Remedy encourages young adults to live on purpose and not by accident.

“Teens are hurting.” According to Faupel nearly 5,000 teens and young adults in America commit suicide each year. Correspondingly 26 percent of teens have consumed alcohol, 20 percent engaged in sexting, and one in three struggle with pornography.

How powerful is the internet as a touch point for teens who are thinking about suicide? Every week, 60 percent of teens spend 20 or more hours on the internet. When someone needs to connect, Remedy wants to be there.

“We have 60 volunteer soulmedics available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to chat and pray with anyone via text, live chat, or email,” Faupel noted. In the past year Remedy has engaged 168,058 chats with teens who could share their struggles anonymously and get help right away.

Are you having thoughts of suicide? Being bullied? Are you practicing self-harming behaviors? Hurting because your parents are divorced? Need relationship advice? Remedy is a text away. Faupel said, “We offer hope in the midst of hurting.”

Contact Remedy at www.RemedyLive.com. If you are thinking about suicide and need to talk, text “Remedy” to 313131.

Click on this link for a message to you from Remedy.fm

http://bit.ly/18s6Ilu

            PeggySue Wells is the author of more than a dozen books and serves as a soulmedic for Remedy.fm.

Army Suicide Prevention: Faith and Counseling Help

By Penny Monetti:

Military life presents unique marital challenges for the warrior and his or her family in an already stress-ridden society, but many army suicide casualties can be prevented.

 

Called to Serve, by Penny and Tony Monettii offers encouragement to soldiers and their families.

Called to Serve, by Penny and Tony Monettii offers encouragement to soldiers and their families.

My family looked forward to attending my son’s first Army Christmas party this last December. After 24 years as an Air Force pilot’s spouse, I was looking forward to observing a different military branch, meeting my son’s Army unit, and being the party guest instead of the party planner.

It was time to relax. During our military years, I helped organize holiday parties: From bases spanning from America’s heartland to the deep South. From New York to California’s coast. All the way to bases located in Europe. For weeks, my son, Antonio, verified that no commitments or unexpected time conflicts would interfere with us attending his first Army holiday gathering. He was excited that his dad, a B-2 stealth bomber pilot, would meet his fellow Army reservists and commanders.

When we pulled into the base parking lot for the awaited festive day, Antonio met us with apprehension. His normal ruddy complexion was ghostly pale, and he had a forlorn look that will be forever ingrained in my memory. He shared the devastating news.

Someone at the base had taken his own life just the day before.

Unfortunately, this military unit’s suicide is not an isolated incident. A 2010 report indicated that an average of eighteen military veterans committed suicide daily (Maize, 2010). The number of suicides among US Army active duty and Reserve personnel in 2012 was higher than the total combined military fatalities from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over the same time frame (Burke, 2012).

Military life presents unique marital challenges for the warrior and his or her family in an already stress-ridden society, such as: Deployments, dangerous missions, reintegration into family, civilian, and college life after separations, numerous relocations, and post-traumatic stress to name a few. Depression can be the fall out from any of these challenges.

Unless you’ve experienced the darkness of depression, you cannot relate to its vice-like grip it seemingly holds on the afflicted person’s life, whether you are affiliated with the military or a civilian.

If you or someone you know has expressed suicidal thoughts, do not ignore the warning signs, hoping they will disappear on their own. Seek immediate professional guidance, but before locating help, submit your challenges to the Lord and ask for His guidance to finding counsel. Know that before you begin this journey you are not alone:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

Depression is a very real enemy, but the Lord reassures us:

“The one who is in you  (The Holy Spirit) is greater than the one (Satan) who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.

The Lord further strengthens us with the promise:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.” 1 John 16:33.

Notice that the Lord makes clear that the indwelling spirit triumphs over evil. So how do we get this internal protector to abide within us?

It’s actually extremely simple. We invite the Lord into our lives by confessing that we are sinners and believing that Jesus is the Son of God, He died on the cross, and rose from the dead to save us from our own sins. This belief assures us eternal life in heaven.

What have you got to lose? Perhaps you don’t buy into the whole Jesus will save me if I say those words idea, but you long to. You can take comfort knowing that you are not alone in your doubt. Some of the Biblical “greats” struggled to believe God’s promises, as well. John the Baptist, who fiercely preached that Jesus was the Messiah, doubted his own declaration when he was at his lowest.

While imprisoned in the foul atmosphere of a dark gloomy dungeon fortress tucked within the savage cliffs of Moab, John doubted Christ as the true Messiah. John, who formerly held the firmest convictions that Jesus Christ was the true Savior, wavered in His conviction. After all, Jesus was not performing as John expected. This prophet was not axing the trees, winnowing the field, and judging the unrighteous. He was gentle of spirit, humble, and forgiving. So he asked two disciples to simply ask Jesus if he were truly the Messiah or should they expect another.

Instead of rendering a yes or no answer, Jesus asked the disciples to convey to John the awesome wonders that they witnessed: The blind could now see. The lame could walk. Leper’s infected flesh was cleansed.  The down trodden were uplifted. Jesus then continued to praise John. He didn’t ridicule him for his doubt, but explained those doing God’s work would be persecuted whether they dined with tax collectors or ate locusts from the land.

If you doubt God’s power and feel God has not lived up to your expectations, you are in good company; however, get ready, because once you invite God into your heart and submit your challenges to Him, you will be spiritually awakened, shaken, and claimed as God’s adopted child. You will begin to experience that God works all things for His purpose in your life, even the bad stuff. (Romans 8:28)

Sinking to a low point in life can cause doubt in Christ and imprison you in the wretched pit of depression’s confinement. If this depression remains unaddressed, it can lead to suicide, but once you acknowledge your doubts, confess them to God, and make healing your new mission, there is nothing that can stop the restoration process. Roman 8: 38-39 promises:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Remember, you are not alone. God is waiting for you to reach out to Him from your place of despair where the enemy is holding you captive.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy.”  Psalm 18: 16-17.

There are some great military sources to help you or your loved one overcome depression. Military OneSource provides FREE online counseling and will pay for 12 counseling visits that will not transferred to military health records. Focus on the Family will help you  find a Christian counselor in your area:

To get immediate help, call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1, or chat online now for 24/7 access to trained counselors. www.wingmanproject.org is another organization to help military veterans combat this very real enemy.

 

Suicide Prevention in the Workplace

When losing a worker from suicide, an employer may feel shock, surprise and even guilt. What signs were missed?  Could increased awareness of employee struggles be an ingredient for suicide prevention?

By Karen O’Connor:

Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My friend Arlette and her husband Dan ran a restaurant in Southern California for over twenty years. Each Monday morning they gathered their employees in a circle and asked each one to share a concern or a need so they could support one another with prayer and reassuring hugs.

Many of the couple’s employees remained with the company for ten years or more waiting tables and preparing meals. The owners credit this loyalty to the weekly practice of sharing and caring for one another.

“We let people talk out their feelings and needs so they could do their job without being weighed down emotionally.”

Imagine what would happen to the morale and longevity of employees at other companies, if more of them modeled this practice. I thought about this when I heard recently that one of my neighbor’s employees killed himself and no one seems to know why. Years ago an attorney in a friend’s legal firm did the same at home alone in the bathroom of his condominium.

Are employers to blame? Of course not, and yet such news is cause for alarm. Owners and managers surely ask themselves, as my lawyer friend did, if he could have done anything to stop his colleague from such a final act against himself.

None of us is fully responsible for the actions of another, But at the same time, those of us who employ others–or who deal with them through our businesses–can be an influence for good, whenever we are in contact with them. Perhaps the most important help can be offered well ahead of a fateful decision to take one’s own life.

When coworkers become aware that a fellow employee is struggling, they can show support and pray for them, but also direct that person to counseling resources and hotline numbers. Suicide prevention is multifaceted.

Like Arlette and Dan, a few moments of personal time, asking questions, opening our lives to the fears and concerns of others could make the difference between life and death.

Jesus said to his followers: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27 from the Bible).

FAITH––the Suicide Vaccine (Suicide Prevention)

A pharmacist suggests a different kind of ‘vaccine’ for suicide prevention.

By Karen O’Connor:

Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lisa Hamil, Pharm. D., a registered pharmacist in the State of California, claims that ‘faith is the suicide vaccine’ and she highly recommends it for those who are contemplating taking their own lives.

“Why would anyone want to commit suicide?” she asks, when faith in God can lead one out of depression and the “torments of life’s weariness, guilt, anger, pride, lack of forgiveness, hopelessness, disappointment, betrayal, and the feeling of being unloved?”

Hamil, when working behind the pharmacy counter, speaks with hundreds of people each month who bring in prescriptions for pain-killers, anti-depressant medications and other drugs. She claims most people are looking for relief that medicine cannot address long-term.

“These medications come with a written educational guide that specifically warns patients: ‘Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions . . .’  These guides as well as health care providers recommend that patients learn effective coping skills to complement the chemical intervention of antidepressant drugs.” There is no such ‘fix’ for the true source of the problem—separation from the Spirit of God.

“One’s thoughts,” says Hamil, “determine one’s life, mood, and actions. There is no medication available that can reliably change our thoughts or our actions. We must take charge and choose to discipline our thought life. Drugs may help during that thought transition process, but patients must move forward with a clear goal in mind.”

The Bible offers guidance too.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Building their faith is the choice depressed patients must make in order to effectively prevent the ultimate dismay that leads to suicide,” says Hamil. “Faith is the suicide vaccine and support is available through other believers, pastors, and inspirational readings.”

Hamil suggests these important steps to take:

1) Choosing to be thankful versus complaining

2) Forgiving yourself and others who have hurt or betrayed you

3) Serving and helping others

4) Focusing on the perfection of God’s love and his provision.

Enjoy this inspiring video with Joyce Meyer speaking on the power of unleashing faith.

Not sure how to find faith? One place to start is http://www.GodTest.com. There you will find a questionnaire that will walk you through common questions about the Christian faith, as well as heartfelt letters about dealing with serious struggles in life.

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, 2012

By Dianne E. Butts:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is “dedicated to preventing suicidal behavior, alleviating its effects, and providing a forum for academians, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors.” The IASP offers a variety of events throughout the year, including World Suicide Prevention Day, which is September 10, 2012.

World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10th every year, with a unique theme for each year. This year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention Across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope.” Previous themes include “Preventing Suicide in Multicultural Societies” and “Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention Across the World.” September 10th, 2012, marks the 10th anniversary of the World Suicide Prevention Day.

The IASP says its research shows evidence that “we can prevent suicide.” In the past “education campaigns have focused on the role of risk factors in the development of suicidal behavior. In order to increase effectiveness in preventing suicide we propose to direct our efforts not only towards reducing risk factors but also toward strengthening protective factors,” the site says.

Factors considered protective against suicidal behaviors include the ability to cope and adjust to adverse life events, a sense of personal worth and confidence, problem-solving skills, and help-seeking behaviors. Social and cultural factors include religious and social integration, connectedness, good relationships with friends, colleagues and neighbors, access to support, and ready access to health care. Healthy lifestyles and abstinence from illicit drug use is associated with reduced risk of suicidal behavior.

The World Suicide Prevention Day web site has a wealth of downloadable information, including:

World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 has its own Facebook Page.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention was founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960. The organization includes professionals and volunteers from more than fifty different countries. It is a nongovernmental organization in official relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Take a few moments to stop by the site today or make professionals in your area aware of the resources available at the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Working together we can help prevent suicide. Check out the resources and see how you might support World Suicide Prevention Day, which is September 10, 2012.

Here is a short video from one group who got involved in World Suicide Prevention Day 2011:

Also cClick here to see a playlist of 7 short videos from a variety of people involved in World Suicide Prevention Day 2011.

Suicide Prevention in the Midst of an Attempt

By Jeenie Gordon:

Many times there can be suicide prevention. Often people are so desperate that in a moment of insanity they choose to get out of their enormous emotional pain by an act which can be non-reversible. Even at the time of despair when the act has been taken, they wish they could turn back the clock. In those seconds, some are able to reach out in desperation for help.

One Saturday, a client, who had received my private number through a speaking brochure telephoned my home. My heart pounded as she softly slurred out her words, “Jeenie, I took a bottle of meds.”

I questioned what they were, but she didn’t know. Since I was not in my office, I did not remember the medication she was taking, nor her address. Over and over I asked, “Tell me your address.” Hesitantly she finally mumbled it.

Dialing 911 I was able to give her location. “We’re on the way,” the paramedics assured me. Later, I was able to locate her husband.

Immediately after, I called her psychiatrist on his emergency cell phone. He remembered what medication she was taking and stated “An overdose can kill her.”

After making the calls, my heart was nearly pounding out of my chest. I earnestly prayed, “Dear God, get them to her in time. Save her life.”

The next week she came in for a therapy session to continue dealing with her underlying issues. “I didn’t really want to die, Jeenie. That’s why I called you.”

I knew God had led my client to reach out to me in her time of desperation for suicide prevention. We continued in therapy for another year, and I saw great improvement and emotional health emerge. The suicidal thinking ceased.

Sometimes a suicidal person has time and the mental ability to call for help. In my experience, it is most often after pills have been ingested. In that short window of time, help can come if called immediately.

In the case of my client, I needed to speak with the psychiatrist to determine the medication so I could inform the paramedics in order for them to administer the proper treatment.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a solvable problem and is never the answer or way out. Families and friends are left in deep despair for the remainder of their lives, often wondering what they did wrong and trying to make sense of the tragedy, when there is none.

Never take lightly a call for help. Take immediate action and you, too, may help save a life.

In a crisis, contact: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free crisis hotline funded by the federal government that will direct callers to a nearby crisis center. The Lifeline will accept calls from non-English speakers.

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

A Successful Suicide Prevention Story

By Jeenie Gordon:

As a therapist, on occasion, God has granted me the opportunity to successfully practice suicide prevention through office visits or phone calls. Here is one such story.

He was in his late 20s, good-looking enough to be a movie star. Intelligent, with a vibrant personality, he could capture a heart in a minute—but his world fell apart.

Aaron stumbled into my counseling office, and tears cascaded down his sculptured face like a giant waterfall. Slumping on the sofa, between sobs, he told me his story of pain. I listened carefully.

Married a few short years to his beautiful dream girl, he thought life was blissful—until today.

“Angela wants out of our marriage. Her bags are packed, and she is ready to walk out of the door and out of my life forever.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that, Aaron. Tell me what happened.”

“Angela was swept off her feet by an older, married man at work. The more she spoke of his amazing attributes, the more my heart disintegrated. That’s why I decided to seek counseling.”

During the next few weeks, I was supportive and caring toward this broken man. Returning home late one evening, I had numerous messages from him.

“Jeenie, I need you. Please pick up. Jeenie, I can’t stand the pain, and I’m going to end it.”

With a loaded gun and a broken heart, he called for help. My heart was nearly beating out of my chest as I dialed his number.

“Please, God,” I prayed. “Let him still be alive.”

Thankfully, he answered, and I was able to talk him through the night, preventing his suicide.

Years later, Aaron remarried a wonderful Christian woman, had children, and today is involved in ministry to others in despair.

Not all stories turn out as well as Aaron’s. The dark well of emotion surrounds many people in marital trauma as they sink into a pit of deep muck, unable to climb out. Often they do not possess enough strength to grab onto a lifesaving hope of suicide prevention.

You can search a directory of Christian counselors through the National Christian Counselors Association at http://www.ncca.org/Directory/. Even though suicidal people need professional help, do not underestimate the listening ears, encouraging words, and love of family and friends for they may also help in suicide prevention.

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Here’s a video from Linda Rooks on Huntly Street about restoring a broken marriage: 

The Crime of Suicide Baiting

by Laurie:

A recent site visitor told us her heartbreaking, horrifying story: her son was a victim of suicide baiting.

Be the one who would shout "Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!" ?

You can, instead, be the one who shouts: “Stop! There is hope for you! God loves you!”

Debra DeAngelo from the iPinion Syndicate summarizes this well in her post, What have we become when suicide becomes entertainment?:

Can there be anything more soul-shredding than your child committing suicide? Yes: discovering that his/her death provided entertainment for a cheering crowd.

Who does that? Who goads a person into killing him or herself? I never thought about that much before. Neither did Kathie Yount of Harrisburg, Missouri. Until she called her son Dylan one random day and a strange voice answered. He identified himself as a medical examiner, and told Kathie that an unidentified man’s body was on the sidewalk six floors below her son’s apartment window at Hallidie Plaza in San Francisco.

Kathie’s own article describes her loss and the horror of the situation in her own post: “Suicide baiting — they cheered while my son jumped,”, writing:

“He died, dehumanized and in despair, in front of 1,000 people who mostly stood watching while others taunted him, provoking his death.”,

This could be compared to the Bystander Effect, a term that came about due to the Kitty Genovese murder case.

Yet Bystander Effect has more to do with apathy than with participation in a crime. Suicide baiting behavior falls more into the area of bullying, as opposed to apathy. It’s taunting and bullying someone to take their own life. This can also be in the form of cyberbullying, as in the case of Megan Meier who took her life after being bullied by an adult posing as a teen on the Internet. (See our related post: How to Stop Cyberbullying.)

An even better word for suicide baiting is sin. Evil personified. It doesn’t matter how many in a crowd are chanting “Jump!” Every one of us must be that person who offers healing and hope, not jeering or apathy. And this happens when we realize that each and every person–including yourself– is unique, created by God for a purpose, and loved by Him.

Every individual has the moral reponsibility to speak life — not death — into the life of others. 

Kathie Yount now feels compelled to prevent similar occurences by increasing public awareness of the crime of suicide baiting, and is pushing for changes in legislation to make suicide baiting a felony. You can visit Kathie’s Facebook page: Support Suicide Baiting Prevention Awareness.

To learn more about God through a relationship through Jesus Christ, visit our sister site: GodTest.com. Not only can He provide healing for your own hurts, but forgiveness if you have in the past caused others pain without considering the consequences.

If you have ever participated in or watched and not stopped a sucide baiting and feel guilt over that, do repent of that and ask forgiveness. Please do not consider this an excuse to take your own life. God can lead you to a new life of encouraging and helping others, possibly even saving the lives of others. You can also help stop the crime of suicide baiting by joining Kathie Yount in her efforts.

Suicide of a Sibling

By Karen Kosman:

One who lost his brother shares how suicide of a sibling impacted him.

 

Image: sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: sattva / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

A Day I’ll Never Forget, by Geoffrey Palmer:

Surrounded by the cresting waves, I wade out into the ocean with mounting anticipation. Then I dive under the water. The ocean underworld has become to me a place of refuge, a place of mystery, a place of beauty, a place to lay aside painful memories. When I scuba dive, my dreams of becoming a marine biologist allow me to focus on my future.

Usually, time in my underwater world passes too quickly, and I need to return to the surface. A small sand shark passes by gracefully. I pause. You’re not a giant, but you’re a fine specimen. I watch it glide off.

Moments later my head breaks through the surface, and I swim to shore. There I take my scuba gear off and head for my car.

Refreshed and feeling at peace, I plan my week. On the drive home I think, Scuba diving is expensive, but I can’t wait to go again, maybe Saturday. Oh, yeah! This is an important week. I’m going to speak at a local high school about Jason’s suicide.

Suddenly, my mind struggles with a nagging fear that’s been eating away at me. For months Mom’s been speaking with a ministry called the “Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention.” She pushes herself so hard that I worry about her getting sick.

I pull into our driveway and park. When I enter the house Mom announces, “Geoffrey, the administrator at the high school you were scheduled to speak at has cancelled. He didn’t want the students thinking that suicide is an option.”

A wave of discouragement washes over me. Then anger surfaces. “That’s stupid! Those students need to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”

“I know, but that’s the way it is for now. We won’t give up.”

I nod, still feeling the weight of my disappointment, then go into my room to dress for school. I have classes at Fullerton College. I don’t want my life to end like Jason’s. I don’t want to hide away in my room and push people away. Life has its problems, but I don’t want to give up. I want others to know that there are answers, and that help does exist.

Quickly, I slip into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. On my way out I grab my baseball cap that has the black ribbon pin trimmed in gold—a pin representing my grief. A short time later, I pull into my school parking lot, park, and jump out. I head for my chemistry class to redo a lab demo I’d had trouble with.

When others ask me about the pin I tell them. “It means I’m grieving for my brother. Jason shot and killed himself last January. He was my big brother, 11 years older than me, but we had a great time together. We loved sports—played basketball together and roughhoused. I knew he fought depression, but I still can’t believe he did what he did.”

I share my brother’s story to encourage others to ask for help.

My thoughts flash back to the day I’ll never forget—the day news reached me of my brother’s suicide. It had been a typical day with no thought of disaster looming ahead. At work a friend and I were preparing the soccer field for the kids we coached. My cell phone rang and I answered, “Hi, Mom, what’s up?”

I could hardly believe what she told me.

“What happened to Jason? He did what? Okay, okay, I’m on my way.”

My friend saw the look of horror on my face and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I have to go home. Something’s happened to Jason!”

If I could send my brother a message it would be, “Jason, you are missed.”

Always in my heart will be this question: Jason, why did you do it?

In this YouTube video another young man sings to the brother he lost to suicide.