Copycat Suicide

By N.J. Lindquist:

Please don’t allow the suicide of someone you admire or care about to lead you to choose a copycat suicide.

 

Image from Wikipedia of Mindy McCready

Image from Wikipedia

When I read last week about the death of country singer, Mindy McCready, I can’t say I was surprised. I knew that her current boyfriend (the father of her 10-month-old son) had died only a few weeks earlier, and that his death was being looked on as a probable suicide. I have to admit that when I first heard of his death, I had a feeling in my gut that hers would be next.

As a fan of country music, I’ve long been aware of Mindy, and really enjoyed some of her songs, especially “Guys Do It All the Time.” But I was also aware of the roller-coaster life she’s led, including her upbringing and connection to a Pentecostal church; her graduation from high school at age 16; her move to Nashville to pursue her dream; and her relationship with married baseball pitcher, Roger Clemons (when she was 18 and possibly younger).

I was also aware of her parents’ divorces and remarriages; her various relationships with men; her two children, her battle with addictions and her earlier attempts at suicide. It almost seemed as if an early death would be the inevitable conclusion.

I feel so sorry for Mindy and her family, and in particular for her two young sons. But my greatest concern is that no one else will copy what she did.

I remember years ago meeting with a teenager I’ll call Debbie who had been cutting herself regularly for a long time, but had recently made several attempts to commit suicide. As we talked about Debbie’s life and her frustrations, she began to cry and whispered the name of a male singer who had recently died from what was being called suicide. Apparently Debbie was a huge fan, to that point that she idolized him, and she was feeling the need to follow him, even in this.

The fact that Debbie’s attempts at suicide hadn’t been successful told me that she probably didn’t really want to kill herself. But that doesn’t mean she couldn’t have succeeded. She was fortunate that her mother had been in the house each time and found her before it was too late.

As I believe was the case with Mindy, there were things in Debbie’s past that made her hate herself and her life—things that were at the root of the cutting and the spiral her life was in—things she couldn’t just push into a dark corner of her mind and ignore. But at this point, the impetus for her suicide attempts wasn’t as much about her personal issues as it was about the very real fact that her idol had done it.

The idea of killing yourself may not come from a celebrity; it might be because a partner or friend does it, as in Mindy’s case; or a family member.

If you’re thinking about committing suicide because someone else has done it, consider this: Your life is too important to become a footnote to someone else’s life.

What you can do:

  • Don’t keep your dark thoughts to yourself. Find someone you can talk to about how you’re feeling and why you feel a strong connection to the person who has died.
  • Look for positive things you could do to help the person’s family and friends deal with the pain suicide leaves behind.
  • Make a list of things you could do to help preserve the memory of the person who has committed suicide so that others will remember the good times and not just focus on the circumstances of the death.
  • If you continue having suicidal thoughts, see a doctor or a counselor and tell them exactly what is troubling you.

 

Helping Students Understand Suicidal Thoughts

By Karen Kosman:

 When talking to teens at a high school, we discussed suicidal thoughts, but also how unique and special each of those teens are.
teens by Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos net

Image Courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

An opportunity opened for me to speak to high school students, in special needs classes, about suicide. I spoke at 4 different campuses. As I entered each class room I was introduced as a speaker and author. I set my books on stands so the students could see the titles. I noticed that they looked apprehensive. Some nervously wiggled in their seats. Silently I prayed, Lord, please open their hearts. Help them to know that I am here because I care.  

I began to share about some of the challenges I’d had in school and later in my adult life. I noticed that they were listening intently.

When I said, “Do you realize that each one of you are special?” I noticed several sat up straighter. I walked over to a student and said to her, “Do you know that no one in the world has the same set of finger prints that you do?”  Then I walked over to a young man with tattoos on his arms and said, “Do you know that no one in the world has the same design in your eyes as you do?”

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14

At that point you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. I knew then I could talk about my son whom I’d lost from suicide.

I brought them into the presentation by asking questions: “What would you do if a friend told you they wanted to die?” Several responded to my questions and listened closely to how to get help for depression and suicidal thoughts.  Throughout my entire presentation one student keeping saying, “I need your book, Too Soon to Say Goodbye.”  Before I left that classroom I signed a book and gave him one. The students wrote letters to me. The young man whom I gave a book to wrote:

Today I learned what to do when you are suicidal. I am a Christian and I really feel bad that so many want to die.  At one time, I wanted to commit suicide, but when I gave my life to my Father -God my life got better. I want others to know that their lives can get better, too. I know that I can win those lost souls and teach them that God changes lives. Please, stop and think before committing suicide.

Another student wrote: Today in my 6th period class we had a guest speaker. She’s written a book about suicide. We learned it is okay to ask for help when depressed. Life can improve and the future can be good. You need to live your life. We also learned how important it is to listen to friends that are talking about committing suicide and tell someone that can help them.

I have no way of knowing what has taken place in each student’s life since that day, but their letters continue to touch my heart. Every time I read them I pray for each student. We all have problems to work out, but we also have the hope that those problems have solutions. Each day we live is a gift.

See this video with Kristin Anderson: Suicide Interrupted, about a failed suicide attempt which led to a life change in this young woman.

Japanese Students – Please do not Kill Yourself

This is a message to all Japanese Students – Please do not kill yourself!

Currently suicide is the leading cause of death in many age groups in Japan.  This is partly because suicide is often a considered solution if one feels they have shamed themselves or their family.  Today, even school children commit suicide simply because they made a mistake or got a lower grade than they had intended.  Recently, I met a teacher from Japan, who is sad to lose so many of his students to what he called ‘senseless deaths.’  He asked me to write an article which would show an important alternative to student suicide.

So, this article is written to the young (and old) students of Japan:  Please do not kill yourselves! Japaneses students, please do not commit suicide!

Despite you or your family’s or society’s expectations, shame is not a good reason to take your life as I will explain below.

Consider this; if you should live past this shame, you will get a chance to honorably redeem your grade (or situation) another day.  Life will continue, and this incident, which seems shameful right now, may even be forgotten in time.  If you live, you will have a chance to bring honor to yourself and family, even marry, raise a family, find in a job,  perhaps in part because you learned how to handle shame and disappointments with honor and grace.  But no matter what you decide to do, you must know this sacred secret I am about to share with you.

The secret is this; there is hope for you when you discover the God above all gods– a God many people in Japan know and meet every day.  This great God is a God who has a different plan for both you  and your shame.  I would very much like to introduce to you to this God.

This mightly, holy God wants, more than anything, to love you and to be your constant companion.  But he had a problem.  He was too holy to walk with mankind because we all make mistakes and shame ourselves.  So, God sent his son Jesus to die a cruel death on a cross.  You see, his son Jesus died in our place.  Jesus, who was good and never did anything to shame himself or his father, allowed himself to be hung naked on a wooden cross until he was dead. He did this to pay the price for our shame, sin, and mistakes. When we accept Jesus’s payment for our shame, God  will allow us to wear the righteousness of Jesus like a beautiful, holy robe.  The righteousness of Jesus covers our sins, failures , mistakes and  shame.  In this way, God counts us as good enough to walk with him without shame.

You can start a relationship with this great God with a simple prayer:

Dear Lord,

Please forgive me for my failures and the shame that I have brought upon myself and my family.  Thank you that you provide forgiveness for my sins as well as my shame through the sacrifice of your son. Jesus. Thank you that Jesus gave his life for my life.  Jesus wants to carry my sins and shame on himself.  So I give Jesus my sin and my shame.  In exchange, I give God my whole life.  God, thank you that because Jesus is your son, and because he never sinned, he had the power to rise alive from the grave.  Because Jesus did this for me, I can now walk with you, holy God, without sin or shame.  God, please send your holy spirit to live inside of me so that you will be my constant companion.  For with God, through Jesus, I am free from shame!  My life becomes too valuable to throw away or to end it with suicide.  God thank you for giving me your love, purpose and for honoring me by taking my sin and shame!

In Jesus Name,

Amen

This is a happy development.  For now you belong to a God who believes that  your life matters.  To learn more about your new life in Christ, go to:  http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com/new-believers-bible-study/

We have several videos which may interest you.  The first video shows a Japanese worship service where the worshippers are honoring God with songs of praise.

Watch this anime (below) which shows part of the story of Jesus’s death on the cross.

This is an importatant movie in Japanese which shows the whole story of Jesus:

A Parent’s Suicide

By Karen Kosman:

Photo by Anita Peppers

The loss of a loved one by suicide causes deep pain and struggles for families left behind–especially a parent’s suicide for children who only understand that Daddy or Mommy is no longer there to tuck them in bed, to hold them, to play ball, or to help with homework. Activities, no longer possible, that once seemed normal create a deep yearning in a child’s heart. Often they are too young to ask questions. People who are in a position to work with children can be a light that shines through their darkness. One such story is about a Sunday school teacher, named Jeanne Pallos, who started a special class for hurting children.

The following 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.

Erik’s Papa’s Suicide

Jeanne Pallos

I knew about hurting hearts and how God could use safe, loving, caring people to bring healing. He had done it in my life. In return, I longed to reach into the hearts of emotionally wounded children and minister with God’s love and grace. So I started a class at church for children with hurting hearts. The staff knew I wasn’t a trained counselor, nor did I pretend to be, but they agreed to allow God to direct me.

Erik’s mother pleaded with me to let him into the class. “He’s seen so much pain in his short life,” she said. “At five years old, Erik lost his dad to suicide. He needs to be in your class.”

Even though Erik was only eight, and the other children were 4th through 6th graders, how could I say no? I thought, Love and support is what all these children need. “I’ll be happy to take Erik into my class.”

The first week, a shy little boy, with his head down, walked into the classroom. We sat in one large circle, and Erik took the seat next to mine. Although I knew the personal tragedies in each child’s life, I never mentioned them. I vowed never to pry into a child’s heart.

Erik rarely spoke, but at the beginning of each class, he scurried to sit next to me. One week I asked the children to make collages depicting people and things they loved. We searched through magazines and collected pictures. Then the children disappeared into their own private worlds as they cut and pasted pictures and words onto large sheets of paper.

Since Erik was the youngest, I often helped him with projects. As we sat pasting a picture of a father and son tossing a ball, he said, “Papa liked to play ball with me.”

Erik had never mentioned his dad before.

“That must have been fun and made you very happy.” I silently prayed, Thank you, God, for working in Erik’s heart.

The next week, during the class activity, Erik whispered to me, “Papa used to read to me.”

“That sounds so special,” I replied. “I’m sure your papa loved reading to you.”

A few weeks later, just before Christmas, our church held its annual memorial service. Families brought pictures of loved ones to display on a table and wrote the deceased person’s name on a list to be read. During the service, each family walked forward to light a candle.

I walked forward and placed my mother’s picture on the table. Suddenly, I noticed Erik walking towards me. He looked up at me with expressive eyes.

“Do you want to see Papa?” he asked.

“Oh, yes,” I answered, taking his small hand. “I’d love to see your papa.”

Together, we found Papa’s picture—a snapshot of a man and a child secured in a cracked frame.

“Is that you?” I asked.

Erik smiled.

“I can tell your papa loved you very much. Do you want to see a picture of my mother?” I asked.

When the evening ended, Erik’s mother took me aside and told me the details of the suicide. “Erik’s dad and I were separated. He lived alone. One evening he phoned and threatened, ‘I’m climbing onto a chair and making a noose. I’m going to kill myself.’

“I pleaded with him, ‘Please get some counseling. Your kids will always need you.’ Then I heard a thud, and the conversation ended in an overpowering silence.”

I wanted to say something comforting, but couldn’t find the words. As I looked into her eyes, I saw sadness, but I also saw determination. Widowed, and left with three heartbroken children, she’d not given up.

Had my class touched Erik’s young heart? Could the love he received in a few short weeks bring healing for a lifetime? I knew it couldn’t, but it was a beginning.

Erik loved his papa, no matter how he had died. That’s all that mattered. Erik now needed me and others to listen, care, and affirm this love. This little boy had a lifetime to deal with his papa’s suicide. For now he needed help in treasuring his dad’s memory before it faded away.

See this touching video, Grief Through The Eyes of a Child, from The Child and Teen Program of Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado. It includes stories from kids about Camp Good Grief to help children cope with loss.

Life Saver

By Jeenie Gordon:

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide, and used by permission from New Hope Publishers and author Jeenie Gordon, licensed marriage and family therapist.

 


Life ring Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Never will I forget the day Anthony stumbled into my high school counseling office. Slamming the door until the windows were shaken, he collapsed in the chair beside my desk. Desperately he pounded his fists on my desk, cursing and yelling. All the while, tears splashed down his shirt.

Silently I waited.

Slowly he began to open up. His parents had split up, just before his high school graduation. What should have been the most exciting day of his life, he anticipated with gut-wrenching pain.

For two hours we talked.

As he was leaving, he commented, “I want you to know, Mrs. Gordon, that as I passed by your office window at lunchtime. I knew I had to talk to you. Actually, I was on my way home to blow out my brains.”

Three years later, with a bright smile on his face, Antony once again stood in my doorway. “Hey there, you remember me?”

I smiled and nodded.

In tow was an adorable, blond, blue-eyed two-year-old girl. Sitting on his knee, he stated.
“This is my little daughter. I’m now married and an electrician’s apprentice. Life is good.”

We had a long chat, catching up on his life, one saved from the death grip of suicide. He gave me a hug as they left.

With tears glistening in my eyes, I thought, if I had not been there for him, he would have missed all this. Thank you, heavenly Father, for using me.

A life was saved.

Many of us could actually be a life saver without our knowledge. We always have enough time to listen to a distraught person. Often it has nothing to do with our ability to guide, direct, or supply the right answers. It is just a listening heart – one attune to the pain of others and the willingness to take a few minutes to care.

Anthony told me he had planned to take his life, but often we do not have that information. But when we allow God to use us as encouragers, who knows, we may be a life saver.

A Parent’s Prayers for a Depressed Teen

Excerpt from: Is Your Teen Stressed or Depressed?: A Practical and Inspirational Guide for Parents of Hurting Teenagers, by Dr. Arch Hart and Catherine Hart Weber. Published by Thomas Nelson; used by permission from Dr. Catherine Hart Weber (howtoflourish.com).

When a teen is stressed or depressed, there can be many causes, and various ways parents can help. For starters, parents can always pray.

 

As a parent of a hurting teenager, you may frequently be driven to pray out of desperation. The good news is that prayers for a depressed teen take concerns directly to God–absolutely the best place you can go.

And thank God, that is where He wants us-to turn to Him, to trust in Him, and to discover that He does answer prayer.  You can pray for the following:

  • Pray for practical direction and the healing of your child.
  • Ask for God’s wisdom, guidance, strength, and endurance for the long haul.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your heart with renewed love and perspective and practical application.
  • Pray for your teenager’s particular hurts, struggles, and needs. Pray for breakthrough, healing, wholeness, and peace for your child.
  • Invite God to partner with you in all you do to fulfill your assignment of parenting and loving your teenager.

You can pray something similar to the following prayer for a depressed teen:

 

Lord, forgive me where I have not been sensitive to my teen’s hurt and need for nurture, protection, care, and guidance. I come to You in utter desperation, fear, and longing for my child.

Help me deal with my emotional reactions and confusion so I will do no harm. Open my heart toward the heart of my child, to be objectively sensitive to his needs and pain. Give me insight into the reality of the world my teen lives in, and what he has to encounter daily.

I submit myself to You, embracing faith, hope, and love for the assignment of being a parent to this child.

Amen.

 

Still finding praying for your teen to be a struggle? You’re not alone. In future posts we will share even more concrete ways you can pray for your child: for wisdom and direction about what to do, and for your teen’s health and development. For the moment, rest assured that God loves you and loves your teen and be open to His response to the simple prayer above.

Help for the Family after a Child Suicide

By Karen Boerger:

How does a family cope with their painful  “new normal” after a child suicide?

 

The newspaper’s front page article at the bottom right read,  “Middle school student dies; school cancels classes.”  

“How tragic!” I thought.

As I began to read the article to see what happened, I saw that this boy was an 11-year-old fifth grader who took his own life. There was no name or reason mentioned.  It went on to tell how the school was putting together a plan to help students deal with their classmate’s death.

The superintendent said, “Anyone needing special assistance can call the school’s Crisis Hotline which the district identifies as a caring and supportive voice.” They provided the Crisis Hotline number twice in the article.

My heart aches for the family left behind after that child suicide. Did anyone have a clue that this was coming?  Would they have called the hotline on this young man’s behalf?  Would it have made a difference?  I would hope that it would have helped to give this individual a touchstone – something solid to base the rest of his life on.

It saddens me to think of what could have been for this family. All the fun a parent would have with their child as he grows up: first car, first job, prom, wedding, grandchild, etc.  It’s sad to think of the many losses.  The young man obviously had some troubles, but could they have been worked out?  Could talking with a friend, pastor, counselor, teacher, or relative have helped?  I can’t help but say, “YES!”

Even though the grief will be long, our help is in the Lord.  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13 ESV).”  There are times we are so low that we cannot see our way out of the pit of sorrows, and yet our Lord is there with us.  God also has provided people to help us.

Here’s a video book trailer describing the difficulty families have adjusting to a “new normal” after a child takes his life with details about the book Coping Techniques After a Child’s Death, written by Sandy Fox.

According to the author, the book “consists of over 80 articles of coping techniques and informational skills to help any bereaved parent as they move through the grief process. Readers will be able to learn how to get through the holidays, read 10 inspirational stories from those who have been there, delve into the abundant resource section and read a variety of book descriptions of other literature in the field.”

Sandy also has a helpful blog: I Have No Intention of Saying Goodbye…surviving grief: death of a child at survivinggrief.blogspot.com.

One aspect of losing a child, which may or may not be mentioned in Sandy’s blog, is that believers in Christ have the additional promise of being reunited with a child in heaven. It doesn’t make missing them now less painful, but does offer hope for the future.

How to Help a Teen Who’s Talking about Suicide

Have you ever needed to know how to help a teen who’s talking about suicide? Should you just ignore the talk, or should you take the teen seriously? According to Metanoia.org,

Myth: The people who talk about it don’t do it. Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

Myth: Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy. Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of craziness does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

Those problems weren’t enough to commit suicide over, is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting the person who has it.

If this got your attention, and especially if you know a teen who’s talking about suicide, watch Howcast’s great, short  but informative video below.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 273-8255

Suicide Intervention: One Teen Helps Another

By S. Osborn:

One teen, who formerly contemplated suicide himself, saves the life of a suicidal friend with a suicide intervention.

 

In a former post, My Son Was Suicidal, I shared how my teen son at one point came close to taking his own life. Thankfully he decided to live, much to the relief of all who love him. Here’s what happened when a friend of his also had suicidal thoughts:

One night my telephone rang, and my son said, “Mom, I’m so glad you’re home. I need to talk to you. Brittney tried to commit suicide last night, but I stopped her.”

A few months earlier, my son had helped his friend, Brittney, through a difficult time in her life. Her parents had divorced, and since he had gone through that, he could empathize. He encouraged her to see a psychologist for her depression and drug problem. He thought she was doing much better—until the previous night.

I clutched the phone. “Tell me what happened.”

My son answered,“Brittney left a message on my answer machine. I had checked my messages earlier, but an inner voice told me to check them again.”

“You know Who that was, don’t you?” I asked, never missing an opportunity to witness to my jet-setting son who rarely took time to go to church.

“Oh, Mom, I know you pray for me all the time. I remember when you prayed for me six years ago when I was so depressed that I wrote a suicide note, took a knife, and ran out the door. You’ve told me you pray that angels will surround me and protect me.”

He added softly, “I know they did on that terrible night, and I guess they really did last night. If Brittney had died, I would have felt so guilty and would have wondered if I could have done more for her. All my life I would have carried that burden.”

“No way would it have been your fault if she had died, but thankfully, you were able to perform a suicide intervention. Now tell me what happened.”

He continued, “I checked my messages a second time, and there was a new one—from Brittney. Her voice sounded groggy, distant. I knew something was terribly wrong. I knew—I had been there…. I told my roommate, and we rushed to her house. Later we found out she had taken an overdose of pain killers, downed a bottle of wine, and taken some other drugs.”

I interrupted my son, “Is she going to be all right?”

“The doctor said she would have died if we had not found her when we did. I’m so thankful I checked my answer machine a second time. I rarely do that.”

We talked for about an hour—about his ability to perform a suicide intervention and what part God played in it. At the end of the conversation, my son said, “Mom, I’m glad I caught you before you left this morning. It helps to know you’re there.”

“I’ll always be here for you—no matter what.”

 You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

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.

 

My Son Was Suicidal

By S. Osborn:

If you feel overwhelmed and suicidal, consider how taking your life would hurt people who love you. Instead, communicate with them.

 

PrayingBecause my son was suicidal at one point when he was in high school, my heart goes out to other mothers who have experienced a suicidal teen. Fortunately my story has a happy ending, so I hope those who experience suicidal thoughts will read this story, see the effect that act would have on those left behind, and will reconsider.

I watched my eldest son race down the stairs, shoving his younger brother out of the way. He had a wild look in his eyes that scared me. I had never seen him behave like that before. As he brushed past me on the way to the front door, I saw a buck knife in his hand. By the time I reached the door, he had jumped in my car and was driving away.

My other son and I stared at each other for a moment, then he turned and walked slowly back up the stairs. Moments later, he cried, “Mom, you’d better come look at this.”

I ran up the stairs and grabbed the paper he held out to me. It read, “I can’t go on any longer. Please forgive me.”

Sinking down on my eldest son’s bed, I began to cry, with my other boy’s arms around me.

“I had no idea he was depressed. Did you?”

“No, Mom. I know his girlfriend broke up with him, but that’s happened before.”

I added, “And you made the varsity water polo team, and he didn’t. That had to be hard for him.” He was the only one on varsity. His older brother was still playing on junior varsity.

We joined hands and prayed, “Lord, please bring him safely home to us.” Throughout the next few hours, I prayed that prayer over and over. I felt so stressed I couldn’t get beyond that one sentence.

My husband was on a business trip, so I called the hotel where he said he was staying. The clerk said no one was registered by that name. We were struggling in our marriage, so I wasn’t surprised my husband wasn’t where he said he would be. The tension in our home had been hard on the boys, too. I realized that, but didn’t know what to do about it.

I sat at my dining room table, praying and staring off into space. Finally, about four in the morning, the front door opened, and in walked my firstborn, head down, knife at his side.

He put the knife on the table and said, “I couldn’t do it, Mom. I couldn’t take my own life. God wouldn’t let me.”

I stood up and wrapped my arms around him. I silently prayed, Thank you, Lord.

My husband and I divorced shortly thereafter. I never did figure out where he was that terrible night, but somehow my son had found out his father was cheating on me. So for over a year he carried around that burden, as well as the problems he had at school.

We talked for several hours that scary morning, and it helped us both to realize how important communication is in a family. After that, when my son was struggling with an issue, he would come to me and we would talk. Today, 28 years later, we still share that closeness.

My prayer is that if you are struggling with issues and feeling suicidal that you will find someone to talk to, perhaps a family member, a friend, a teacher, or a pastor. Or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

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.