Dogs Help Stop Suicide in Military Veterans

By Linda Evans Shepherd

Dogs Help Stop Suicide in Military Veterans

Many of our veterans are returning home with Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and are in danger of losing their lives to suicide.  So, could it be that a wagging tail could help stem the tide of this heartbreaking loss of life?  Yes. Dogs help stop suicide in military veterans. According to Web MD, pets have the power to improve mood and to provide unconditional love.

Alan Entin, PhD, a psychologist in Richmond, Va is quoted in the Web MD article saying,

“Dogs, in particular, are always glad to see you,” he notes. “When you are feeling down and out, the puppy just starts licking you, being with you, saying with his eyes, ‘You are the greatest.’ When an animal is giving you that kind of attention, you can’t help but respond by improving your mood and playing with it.”

Entin added, “Having a pet takes the focus off the owner’s problems, Entin says, since having a pet is a commitment–you need to feed and care for the pet. “When people have a pet in the house, it forces them to take care of another life,” Entin says. With the focus outward, he says, the pet owner may not dwell on their depressed mood as much.”

Vets adopting pets is a great solution for the animals too as 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year, simply because they need a home.

To see the power of a dog in a vet’s life, check out the video below:

Video of How Dogs Help Stop Suicide in Military Veterans

Pets can be found in shelters and can even be what the doctor orders via prescription.  Also organizations exists, like Pets for Vets, to help military veterans reclaim normalcy in their lives through companion dogs.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a vet who is depressed or in danger of harming yourself or others, contact Veteran’s Crisis Line or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

See related article, Finding God Through Your Dog from Finding God Daily. 

How to Live Through Hump Day

By Linda Evans Shepherd

According to the Washington Post, “intriguing new research shows that Wednesday is the day of the week on which most suicides occur.”

But why is it so hard to know how to live through hump day?  Wouldn’t Monday be the most challenging day of the week?

Apparently not, as the Post says, “The study looked at data about suicides nationwide among people over age 18; that number totaled 131,636 over five years. Almost a quarter of those suicides happened on Wednesdays, while only about 14 percent took place on Mondays. The fewest — just over 11 percent — occurred on Thursdays.”

So what’s so difficult about Wednesdays?  Could it be as the study suggests, “perhaps life’s stresses build up by mid-week and seem most insurmountable on that day?”

But note what a difference a day makes! By Thursday, people who managed to live through Wednesday or least likely to take their own lives.  With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to live through hump day.  Please note that these suggestions are geared for those who might implusively take their lives due to the mid-week blues or sudden circumstances that seem overwhelming.  None of the suggestions are meant to offend those with chronic depression.  If you are chronically depressed or if you need additional helps, please read the comments to this article which have some great critiques and suggestionsAlso, note that we have an ever growing catagory called ‘Depression‘ that you may want to check into.  Also, we welcome your continued suggestions on what might help people who are looking for solutions.

  1. When you feel stressed, depressed, or discouraged, before you do something impulsive like taking your own life, made a decision to wait; a day, a week, a month, a year.  It’s likely your feelings will change because Wednesdays don’t last forever, Thursday is on the way!
  2. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and count your blessings and if you can’t think of any, determine how you can be a blessing to others.
  3. Think about those things you have to look forward to.  And if you can’t think of anything, start dreaming.  Ask yourself questions like; if I could go anywhere in the world where would I go?  What is a skill I would like to learn? Then start planning your dream trip or researching how you can learn that skill.
  4. Are you still up?  Go to bed. Don’t sit up late and mope, it’s very likely you will feel better in the morning.  Otherwise, if you can’t sleep, read a book, watch a comedy, put on some soothing music.  But if it’s not yet bedtime, stand up, take a walk, get some fresh air, or call a friend.  Relax! Everything is going to be all right.
  5. Recite your problems to God, then tell him, “Now these things are your problems.”  Then relax.  He loves you and no matter what you are going through, you can trust him to see you through it.
  6. Call a suicide hotline.

If you know about the song ‘Friday,’ you might enjoy this silly parody called ‘Wednesday’.  Relax and enjoy.  It looks to me like you need a good laugh.

Don’t let tricky Wednesday pysch you out because now you have some some motivators that will show you how to live through hump day. 
P.S.  Don’t try any of those silly car tricks.  Stay safe.  You’ll be glad you did.

FreeStyle Rapper Raps to Combat Teenage Suicides

By Linda Evans Shepherd

Believin Stephen raps to combat teen suicides

Freestyle rapper Believin Stephen has taken his fight to combat teenage suicides to rap as he explains on one of his YouTube pages, “Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. On top of that, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans!”

Stephen has become one of the few rappers to talk about this topic, deciding to tell his own story of his struggles as a young teen with suicidal thoughts in his single ‘Suicide’ from his album “The Suffering Servant” which he created with musicians and rappers Japhia Life and Leah Smith.

In this rap, this musical trio take  a sympathetic look at those who wrestle with feeling of worthlessness and suicide. In addition to that, Japhia Life passionately delivers his sorrow and regret at seeing one of his best childhood friends take his own life. Japhia raps his wish that his friend had lived so that he would have found the better tomorrow that Japhia himself has found.

To watch these musicians rap to combat teenage suicides (suicide video) check out:

To see Stephen’s thoughts behind this album, watch:

To see more about Stephen, go to check out his Blog Spot. http://www.believinstephen.blogspot.com/

In regards to teenage suicides, if you are suicidal know that God hears your cries.  Please don’t act on your impulse to die, because the enemy (Satan) wants the sacrifice of your very life to stop you from fulfilling all the wonderful plans God has for you.  You will never realize the hope of your future if you don’t hold on.  Call out to God and he will give you strength.

“Help me God, give me the strength to live!  I put my trust in Jesus – to forgive my sins, and to live as you, Lord, give me hope and a future.”