Suicide is never the answer; there is helpPublished 9:14am Friday, September 6, 2013
Column: Guest Column, by Jill Marin
I am one of a multitude of people who have been affected by suicide. I lost my dear, precious younger brother to suicide when he was only 16 years old. It has had a permanent, life-altering affect on me. I have no doubt my path to become a mental health professional has been born from his pain and my own pain.
If you have considered suicide, there is help for you. Many times, the weight of life and its problems can become overwhelming. Hurting yourself may seem the only way out. Friend, it is not. There is help for you.
Please tell a loved one how you are feeling. Call a local medical or mental health professional to ask for help. Call 1-800-273-TALK, or click to chat at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Your clergy person is also a great resource. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Say “no” to the thought of suicide. Your community cares about you and values you.
Oftentimes, depression can be relieved by medications or therapy. Research has shown that the greatest relief can come from a combination of both. If you are not sure how you could pay for something like that, please ask anyway. There will be a way to receive the help you need. Your professional can help you take a look at your overall wellness and can help bring you to a point where you are able to cope with your situation in a healthy way. You can make it through this.
If you have lost a loved one or have otherwise been affected by suicide, there is help for you. So many emotions and physiological symptoms can come from losing someone to suicide. Feelings of guilt, pain, sadness, confusion and grief can be consuming.
Many times, caregivers or responders after the fact can be affected by the trauma of the situation. If you are dealing with lingering problems from a suicidal situation, please talk with a trusted person and contact a professional. You will not be judged. Your professional can help you navigate this difficult path and help you somehow make a plan to move ahead in a healthy way. You are not alone.
If you would like to help someone considering suicide, or support those affected by suicide, there is a place for you. Listen to the person, let him or her know you care. Watch for signs in their words, actions and feelings.
Do they seem to have a preoccupation with death? Do they complain of being a bad person? Do they give hints, like, “I’d be better off dead,” or, “It’s no use”?
Have they shown changes in eating, sleeping, appearance, school work or interacting with friends and family? Have they put their affairs in order? Have they behaved irrationally or with hostility? Do they feel overwhelmingly hopeless, guilty or ashamed? Do they show little interest in usual things? Or, have they become suddenly cheerful? Seek advice, and help them ask for professional help if it is needed.
The National Suicide Prevention Day Memorial Service will be held at Central Park in Albert Lea at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Please join us if you are available that day to help bring awareness to this important issue and healing to those who have been affected in our community. You matter.
Jill Marin is a licensed associate marriage and family therapist, co-pastor of Grace Christian Church, a chemical dependency chaplain and a member of the Albert Lea school board.