The Scourge of Suicide - Part Two
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. ~ Galatians 5:6
Suicides have nearly doubled in the United States among young people in recent years. Other age groups are not immune to this scourge. Today I'll share an acronym that helps us to know how to help those who share they want to harm themselves.
Today I'll share an acronym (ACT) on how we can help others when they share with us the desire to harm themselves. We use this in the school setting to help teens know how to handle suicide discussions. Go to Stop Suicide Today for more information.
A - Acknowledge C - Care T - Treatment with an adult or professional
Acknowledge - Sometimes people share that they wish to harm themselves or are simply acting differently than normal. The first thing we want to do when someone shares with us that they may harm themselves is to acknowledge what they say. Don't act like you didn't hear it or try to minimize it. Repeat to them what they said and ask, "Do you want to harm yourself?" or "Have you considered killing yourself?"
Having someone to listen is vital for the safety of your friend. Make sure they now know that what they've said is important to you and you care.
Care - Drop whatever you're doing and place your full attention on your friend. Whatever you're doing takes a back seat to this situation. Let your friend know that you deeply care about them and they have your full attention. Ask specific questions like: "Do you have a plan to harm yourself?" or "If you were to kill yourself, how would you do it?" Research says that you will not be planting ideas in their head by asking these kinds of questions.
Clear out your schedule so that you can care by seeking treatment.
Treatment - Most people are not trained on what to do next, but there are many resources available to get needed help. This is the time to insist on finding a responsible adult or professional to help - now. Insist on getting help. The temptation here is to "keep this a secret" between the two of you and hope it gets better. Often it does not get better without an intervention of some kind.
Helpers include parents, ministry professionals, church elders, school or community counselors, or the Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255).
We'll explore more resources next week. Stay tuned!
The church setting is the PERFECT place to help those with suicidal ideation. Learn how to set up a Suicide Ideation: We Stand in the Gap Workshop visit with Tim. The weekend includes many different opportunities for mental health training in the church setting. CLICK HERE for more information.
Find out more about Disciples In Motion visit for your church!
Dr. Timothy Sumerlin
Disciples In Motion