ts1Suicide has been a topic I’ve wanted to cover for a long time. But, I chose this month for a reason. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. The number one reason for this is untreated depression (go here for more on depression). Like any death, suicide does not only affect the one who is lost, but also the family and friends of that person.

I have known several people who have committed suicide or attempted to. At times when someone feels scared, alone, and depressed their minds don’t always look for the most reasonable solution to a problem…they simply look for a way out. What these individuals don’t realize is that suicide is not a way out. It does not fix a problem, but causes new ones for those left behind.

How do I know if someone is contemplating suicide?

You won’t always know if someone is. Many times people who are suicidal are withdrawn, isolated, and have symptoms of depression. But, it is important that you talk to people who seem to be depressed. You don’t have to ask them if they are suicidal, you don’t even have to ask them about depression. But be a friend. Be someone that they will be comfortable confiding in so that if they decide to, they can share their feelings with you. Share Christ with them. I know it is hard to talk to others about Christ, but in times of need, there is no other friend they need as much as they need Him.

What do I do if someone tells me they want to kill themselves?

Always take them seriously. Don’t laugh them off or yell at them. Talk to them about how important they are to you and how bad situations do get better…it just takes time. Offer to call for help for them. Help them find a counselor, and talk to a trusted, mature Christian for advice on how to better handle the situation. Most importantly, pray with and for them. Let them know that when it seems all hope is lost, Christ is always there.

If the situation is more advanced and the person is threatening themselves right then, call 911. Do not hesitate even if the person begs you not to call for help. If the person threatens violence upon you, leave and get to a safe place before calling 911. Remember that although you want to save this person, you can’t save them if you don’t protect yourself.

Seeking Help

ts2There are many different suicide helplines across the country. is a great organization that helps set up suicide prevention organizations in colleges and universities across the country (if yours doesn’t already have one). Their website offers tips on what to look for if you suspect someone is suicidal and also offers a 24-hour toll free hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, please call that number, or if in immediate danger, seek help by calling 911.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

By Sarah Ancheta

Speak Your Mind