I want to normalize for a moment what it means to think about suicide, recognizing that socially this could be a difficult subject to approach. Nearly all human beings, when they are being honest with themselves, have thought about ending their life at least once during their lifetime.
It is a part of our problem-solving process when we are feeling our most fixed and fatalistic.
When something is so big and painful that you can’t see around it, it doesn’t seem like it will go away, and you have lost hope that it will ever change. This is a dangerous trifecta.
We don’t get to avoid pain in our lifetime, it is part of the human experience. How do we support each other when life doesn’t turn out the way we wanted it to? When we disappoint each other, live through traumatic events, lose relationships, have changes in our physical functioning, feel like we will be rejected by people we love if we show them who we are?
How to get help
If you or someone you love is wrestling with thoughts about ending their life, reach out to someone in your support system or to a professional. Not everyone that thinks about suicide needs professional support, nor necessarily needs psychiatric hospitalization to keep them from acting on these thoughts.
When we are experiencing these urges, we don’t feel connected to others—this is the furthest from the truth. Feelings of depression and anxiety about our situation fool us into believing we are isolated and alone.
How do we support and teach each other to develop resilience to move through life changes?
I am including some resources that I find valuable. Now Matters Now is a website that has a comprehensive array of tools to get through the next moment, connection to others, and ways to get connected to longer term goals.
National suicide resources for hotline and text lines are staffed 24/7
If you are in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-273-8255. Press 1 for the Veterans Helpline.
You could also get help by texting “HEAL” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or contacting Lifeline Crisis Chat.
If you’re under 21, you can call Teen Link at 866-TEENLINK (866-833-6546) and ask to talk to a peer.
In Idaho you can contact the above National Hotline or specific to Idaho:
Call or text (208) 398-4357