Suicide Awareness Month
Why would someone take their own life? The answers are as numerous as the individuals, and we can never know for sure about any given person. Does that mean we should do nothing? Absolutely not! The question is: What? Obviously, if someone is actively threatening to kill themselves, it’s imperative to seek professional help. But there are other circumstances where you might find yourself with someone who is upset and/or depressed, and there are ways you can be a contribution.
One is to be with the person without judgment. Whatever they have judged to be their situation, listen without aligning and agreeing or resisting and reacting to their story. Knowing there is someone who is there for them, and not judging or giving advice, or trying to fix them can go a very long way to helping a person clam down and gain a different perspective.
Asking question can also be helpful. I’m not talking about questions like: Why would you do that, you have so much to live for? Or: How could you be so selfish? That kind of question only alienates a person more. I’m talking about questions that can empower individuals. These would be things like: What is it that you require that you don’t believe you can have? What can I be or do to assist you achieve that? What brought you so low without a sense that there is anyway out? What could change that for you? What would you like to see changed in your life? What if there were tools to help you with that?
For some people who are very down, even these might not be helpful. If you sense that, just be with the person, as I mentioned above. No judgment, just presence with a sense of peace and possibility.
Another great contribution to anyone suffering from mental health issues can be the Access Consciousness Bars.
Bars are not a cure or a “fix”, but rather a gentle technique of releasing tensions, destructive thoughts and emotions that are creating the sense of hopelessness. Of course every person must choose what they are willing to let go of, but Bars give people a wonderful avenue for doing this
Ultimately, it’s the individual’s decision to live or die, none of us are God, nor should any of us try to be. But you can potentially make a difference in a person’s choices. What difference are you willing to be?