Friday, September 30, 2016

Suicide Prevention Month (Part 2)

from the Senior Pastor
"Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, and whom God has hedged in? "For my groaning comes at the sight of my food, and my cries pour out like water. "For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread befalls me. "I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes."  Job 3:23-26

Job’s cries are cries that may have come from many a person in turmoil.  In the midst of his extreme pain and loss, he sees nothing that brings him solace.  Job is a powerful man of faith for he actually believes when he has no hope.
What would you say to him if he decided he would go ahead and take his own life?  It is important to know the best way to respond to one who is suicidal.
Suicide prevention tip #1: Speak up if you’re worried
If you spot the warning signs of suicide in someone you care about, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to say anything. What if you’re wrong? What if the person gets angry? In such situations, it's natural to feel uncomfortable or afraid. But anyone who talks about suicide or shows other warning signs needs immediate help—the sooner the better.
Talking to a friend or family member about their suicidal thoughts and feelings can be extremely difficult for anyone. But if you're unsure whether someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask. You can't make a person suicidal by showing that you care. In fact, giving a suicidal person the opportunity to express his or her feelings can provide relief from loneliness and pent-up negative feelings, and may prevent a suicide attempt. 
Listening is the best thing you can do for someone in emotional pain.
Ways to start a conversation about suicide:
  • I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
  • I wanted to check in with you because you haven’t seemed yourself lately.
Questions you can ask:
  • When did you begin feeling like this?
  • Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
  • How can I best support you right now?
  • Have you thought about getting help?
What you can say that helps:
  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
  • You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
  • When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage.
The following questions can help you assess the immediate risk for suicide:
  • Do you have a suicide plan? (PLAN)
  • Do you have what you need to carry out your plan (pills, gun, etc.)? (MEANS)
  • Do you know when you would do it? (TIME SET)
  • Do you intend to commit suicide? (INTENTION)
It’s so important that you be yourself when talking with someone in turmoil.   Let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone and allow the suicidal person to unload despair, ventilate anger. This is not the time to argue or be judgmental or act shocked.  Even if you can’t understand allow them to share their feelings. 
Believe it or not, this is not the time to resolve their problem.  The issue is their emotional balance and that must be addressed first.  Offer hope. Reassure the person that help is available and that the suicidal feelings are temporary. Let the person know that his or her life is important to you and share your confidence that God will work all things out in their life.
If a suicide attempt seems imminent, call a local crisis center, dial 911, or take the person to an emergency room. Remove guns, drugs, knives, and other potentially lethal objects from the vicinity but do not, under any circumstances, leave a suicidal person alone.
While you may feel that this information has no place in a devotional series, please be aware that this may be lifesaving to some family.  Take some time and be prepared to be a true friend to someone who has lost hope.
For scriptures on hope all you have to do is Google the words, “Hope in God in the Bible” and you will be amazed at the wonderful promises you will find.
Scripture to Claim:

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:5

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