X
Live    Worship    Grow    Heal

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Last Sunday I had the privilege of speaking at a forum in a congregation who had just experienced the loss of a member by suicide. While mental health struggles are always common in the US, with COVID we are seeing a rise in depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance use and insomnia. Over the coming weeks, I will be addressing mental health concerns as we all strive to maintain our mental, physical, and spiritual health in these trying times. Today’s focus is part one of a two-part series on suicide.

From the dark depths of depression–bipolar, major depressive, PTSD, psychotic (hearing voices telling you to kill yourself or that you are worthless and should die), situational from life events/losses, loneliness and isolation due to COVID,  substance use or other–it can seem like the sun will never shine and that all is hopeless. Do not give up.  With good treatment, you will get through and a joyful, abundant life filled with hope can be found. The struggle is worth it.

 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has the following suggestions:

What do I do if I am thinking about suicide?

Tell someone! Your priest and your faith community is there for you. You do not need to suffer in silence.

To get urgent help, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is also a Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741. For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454..

 

How can I help someone who is considering suicide?

If you think someone is contemplating suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out. When talking to someone who may be struggling with mental health issues AFSP recommends:

What do I do if someone tells me they are considering suicide?

If someone says they want to take their own life, take that person seriously. Stay with them, and help remove any lethal means. In addition:

 

What are the warning signs that someone may be suicidal?

There are several warning signs that could indicate a high risk of suicide, including if a person talks about killing themselves, or reports feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped and/or experiencing unbearable pain.

 

The AFSP identifies certain behaviors that may also signal increased risk, especially when related to a painful event, loss or change:

 

In addition, people who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

If you or someone you care about is struggling reach out. There is hope. 

 

Suzanne E. Watson, M.D., M.Div. 

 

The Rev. Suzanne Watson, M.D.  came to medicine as a second career after 10+ years of ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church where she served in congregations in California, New Zealand, and Connecticut, as well as on the staff of the Presiding Bishop in New York. She was also a candidate for Bishop of Alaska.

She attended medical school in her 20s, but left to devote time to raising her family. However, her dream of practicing medicine never died, and at the age of 50 she embarked on this vocational change. Part of her motivation was the loss of her physician husband to suicide. She is strongly committed to mental health advocacy, the reduction of stigma, and suicide prevention

She is currently in her last year of residency in  Psychiatry at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is returning to San Diego this Summer and will be working at the VA hospital in La Jolla.


by
Category: #Advocacy, #Repentance & Reconciliation

Respond to this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Stories

EDSD Strategy Screen
June 28, 2022

Have you ever had one of those long, busy days when you fall into bed that night, stopping for what feels like the first time in 12 hours, and find yourself wondering, “What did I get done today?” It happens to many of us. The chaos of ordinary life takes the helm, and you find […]

A New Process for Discernment
June 21, 2022

Recently, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego and the Commission on Ministry (COM) have revamped the discernment process for anyone inquiring about ordination as a call in their lives.   What is discernment, and why do we have a formal process?   Discernment is prayerful and intentional listening someone does to better understand what God might […]

EFM: Fertile Ground to Grow Your Faith

Education for Ministry: Fertile ground to grow your faith “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers” (Baptismal Covenant, BCP 304). Every baptized Christian is called to ministry.  What is yours?  Education for Ministry (EfM) is a program of the School of Theology at the […]

View All News
Receive the latest news.

© Episcopal Diocese of San Diego 2022. All Rights Reserved.