On one of my email lists today a lady’s friend had committed suicide this week. That is a terrible thing to happen any time, but especially during the holidays. Losing a loved one to suicide leaves a lasting impression on the families and friends of the one who died. It creates a terrible legacy that sometimes leaves others to follow your steps.
In the small mountain valley where I live, there have been about 18 suicides this past year. Considering how small the population is, that is a high number. Of course, the state I live in has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, along with the highest mental illness rates. (Not something to brag on.) It is one of the reasons I am studying Mental Health Counseling.
If you are contemplating suicide, please talk to someone. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433. For the Deaf or HOH, it is 1-800-799-4889 (TTY). Please, suicide is a permenant solution to a temporary problem. I know how you feel. I have been there before. Life is worth struggling for. It can get better. Please, don’t give up. There is someone worth living for.
For online help, go to http://suicidehotlines.com/. There are people available 24 hrs a day to talk to you.
Now, if you have lost a loved one to suicide, please find someone to talk to about it. The local NAMI group (www.nami.org) will be one source of help. They know how it feels. Find a Pastor or counselor you can talk to, or even a good friend.
There are stages of grief you will need to go through. Do not try to go through it on your own. In most towns of any size, there are grief classes you can join. Try to access those. It will be better for you and your future mental health. If there are children involved, do not hesitate to get help for them either. They need help also, if they are not to follow this pattern in the future.
The Christmas season is a stressful time for people with mental health problems. Sometimes we may not recognize someone is depressed. Don’t blame yourself if someone kills themselves and you did not know they were depressed. Some are very skilled at hiding their feelings. It is NOT your fault.
I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. I wish you happy recovery in all things. I wish you health in all aspects of your life.