LISTENING TO THOSE IN CRISIS
“My room is so quiet and empty it hurts.”
― Nina Lacour, Hold Still
"Most people, if you live in a big city, you see some form of schizophrenia every day, and it's always in the form of someone homeless. 'Look at that guy - he's crazy. He looks dangerous.' Well, he's on the streets because of mental illness. He probably had a job and a home."
“SUICIDE AFFECTS FAMILIES FOR YEARS, EVEN GENERATIONS,” MILLET SAYS. "IT'S SO DISRUPTIVE BECAUSE OF ALL THE SHAME AND GUILT. IT CARRIES ACROSS GENERATIONS. IT'S HORRIFIC. IF YOU THINK OF ALL THE COMMUNITIES AFFECTED -- WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN OREGON WHO HAVE DIED BY SUICIDE."
"When a loved one commits suicide, overwhelming emotions can leave you reeling. Your grief might be heart wrenching. At the same time, you might be consumed by guilt — wondering if you could have done something to prevent your loved one's death."
“And I want to tell you about everything but I can't because I couldn't stand for you to have that look on your face all the time. I just need you to look at me and think that I'm normal. I just really need that from you.”
― Nina LaCour, Hold Still
ON SPEAKING OUT:
"The guilt I felt for having a mental illness was horrible... I was cursed with an illness that nobody could see and nobody knew much about."
"A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn't mean that help isn't wanted. Most people who commit suicide don't want to die—they just want to stop hurting."
Common Misconceptions about Suicide
FALSE: People who talk about suicide won't really do it.
Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," — no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
FALSE: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.
Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.
FALSE: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them.
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.
FALSE: People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.
Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.
FALSE: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.
You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true — bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.
Source: SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
defining the problem: