There’s a post circulating on Facebook that reads:
Could one friend, please copy and repost (not share)? We are trying to demonstrate that someone’s always listening. #SuicideAwareness
For those who have posted this message, and there’s quite a few of you, I know you mean well, but well-meaning may not be enough to bring the well-being back into the life of someone who thinks that ending their life is a better option than living it?
If you really want to make a difference in the life of someone on the verge of a breakdown and thinking suicide might be the answer to problems, which believe me is more people than you think, there are real actions you can take that may help.
Here’s five awareness-actions I came up with:
1.) Add a heartfelt, personal message along with the pre-made one that gives the person in need, who’s reading your post on Facebook, confidence that she/he is welcome to reach out to you personally. Before you make this important commitment, however, do your homework and be prepared for what may come your way.
2.) Make a phone call to a loved one or a friend who you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. This phone call isn’t for you to talk, it’s for you to listen.
3.) Answer the call from the person who it’s easier to ignore. You tell yourself it’s no big deal not to answer the phone, but this phone call to YOU may be this person’s last-ditch effort to reach out for help. Take time to listen. Then, suggest ways that this person can become better connected to their community: lead the way.
4.) Send a text to someone who mysteriously dropped out of the loop and say, “I’ve been thinking about you; can we meet up today to talk?”
5.) Make a personal visit with a flower in hand or send flowers to the home of a loved one or a friend if you get a feeling something’s seriously wrong, but you don’t know what it is, and you don’t want to pry. It may be that the person is depressed and silently suffering. He or she may be lost in their own mind, sad beyond recognition, and wondering if the air they breathe is wasted on them. Your caring gesture may be just what is needed for the painful thoughts about ending life to lose their power and spur on life instead. A simple flower can work miracles!