5 Ways to Save a Life

Today is the World Day of Suicide Awareness and Prevention. Unfortunately, suicide is the second leading cause of deaths between the ages of 18-35. I have experienced the painful realities of suicide myself. My younger brother was tragically taken away from us FAR too early. I was the last person to be with him before his death. In fact, we went to see the Two Towers of The Lord of the Rings the night before. It was an awesome time to be honest! Looking back though I continue to ask myself what I could have done differently. It has left a difficult trail of grief, trauma, and brokenness to so many... It has been a ripple effect. Obviously, I wished I knew how to help my brother at that movie theatre that night.

This is WHY I write this… to encourage you to save a life in 5 simple ways:

1. Listen – Adolescents and young adults NEED a safe place to talk out their issues. If not, they internalize their issues where anger, bitterness, resentment, and pain grow and take over.

2. Identify – there are key phrases that a suicidal person will say… such as:

  •       “I don’t think it is worth it to live”
  •       “I am not good enough for that”
  •       “Why is everything so hard”
  •       “It would be easier to die”
  •       “I cant sleep”
  •       “I am not hungry”
  •       “I cannot be happy”
  •       “I am so angry”
  •       If these phrases are reoccurring then it is important to identify with the person about suicide.

3. Approach – this leads to the most awkward YET most important part of the journey. If you are a family member and friend who needs to approach a young person about suicide it is important to simply ask them, “Have you been thinking of suicide?” Let the conversation grow and listen. This conversation can save a person

4. Action Plan – this leads to a healthy action plan. It can lead to a conversation with a mature, responsible with a counsellor, trusted adult, pastor, and parent. There is help and resources available to help have an action plan

5. Pray – don’t EVER underestimate the power of prayer for someone AND/OR for you to respond in healthy ways for someone thinking of suicide. I am amazed about how GOOD God is. Allow Him to speak LIFE to someone dealing with suicide. Check out Psalm 139:

  •       God knows you and I BETTER than ourselves (vv1-6)
  •       God created you and I KNOWING what is best for us (vv13-16)
  •       God is ALWAYS there for you and I. He never leaves us (vv7-12)
  •       God is Good and we can trust in His Word (vv17-18)

My prayer is that this simple article will help save a life.