THIS IS THE FIFTH AND FINAL INSTALLMENT OF A SIX-PART SERIES ON SUICIDE
By Mick Holien
It is interesting to note that in the week since I started writing this series, I have had no fewer than three different families comment that either they believe someone in the family is suicidal or they already know someone who has committed this heinous act.
We have spent the better part of the week examining suicidal signs, your possible reactions along with a glimpse into my life and experience.
This has not been a clinical or professional effort but a blue collar effort of information gathering.
Now after a diagnosis and/or counseling or in-patient treatment:
If you have encountered someone in or who has completed treatment you know how some of them are real con artists and need to be aware they will tell you anything they think they want you want to hear to advance their agenda.
Statistics indicate completing treatment is a first step but be aware a suicidal person is more apt to kill themselves not necessarily in the depths of depression but during as three-month period when the depression begins to improve.
Here are a few more pointers from the Montana Suicide Prevention website (www.dphhs.mt.gov/amdd/suicide) possibly to help you decide after their release if they are harboring suicidal thoughts and just how serious they might be.
- Take what they say with a grain of salt because they really good at telling you what they think you want to hear.
- Though difficult and challenging be candid by asking if a plan has been formulated and exists.
- Can such a plan actually be formulated?
- Is there someone available who could lend assistance to help them carry out such a plan?
So what to do and what help are available?
If there has been an attempt or someone has reached out to you:
ACT, ACT, ACT
Call 9-1-1 NOW while not leaving the person alone, then take them to an Emergency Room or await emergency assistance whichever is quicker.
Let a family member know while assessing whether alcohol or drugs are involved.
The immediate assistance of a trained professional is of utmost importance.
While again I encourage you to seek help from the aforementioned website which is loaded with information and suggestions about seemingly every stage of a possible suicidal situation.
Other resources besides www.dphhs.mt.gov/amdd/suicide include:
The American Association of Sociology (202-237-2280) or www.suicidology.org.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ww.afsp.org. (888) 333-2377.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center, www.sprc.org. (877) 438-7772.
In the Treasure state there also is a crisis text line: Text MT to 741-741 is a free line for people in crisis.
And please remember the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255 (Talk) or suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
In closing we have given you an abundance of information that we hope will at least send you to the right place for help if you somehow become involved in an emergency situation or even the early stages of a person crying help for help.
From a personal standpoint I can tell you it sometimes happens very quickly and often involves an unlikely person to be in such a situation.
Nothing that we have talked about over the six segments is meant as advice, medical or otherwise, during a time when the word SUICIDE fortunately seems to be a hot-button issue.
This has been our attempt to increase awareness. I hope it did so.
Thanks for listening.