Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Madison County wants to educate our citizens about how important it is to talk with each other about suicide prevention. In Madison County, we had 18 suicides in 2013. Two people overdosed; five people who took their life by hanging, and eleven individuals died by gunshot wounds. Of these eighteen people, one person was an African American male, and seventeen were Caucasian, both male and female. It is doubtful that these statistics comprise an exact total number of suicides. These numbers represent the people who were identified by the coroner as a suicide. There is no doubt others in our county whose deaths were attributed to something else and identified as an “accident” actually died by suicide. What is accurate is that all of these people were responding to a critical, self-imposed negative inner voice that is rarely based in reality. The most important thing for us to remember about suicide is that it is almost always a transient state which is not only temporary, it is treatable!

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Talking with someone who is thinking about suicide and listening to them explain why they think suicide is the solution to what is almost always a temporary problem is the key to their survival. During those moments of self-destructive thinking, the person is literally disconnected from their real, authentic self and their own self-interests. Their critical inner voice can lead them to some real risk-taking, dangerous behaviors, and death, and if we intervene when we suspect someone is thinking about taking their own life, we can help them find out that there is support and there are people who care about them. People who have attempted and survived a suicide act will invariably say that at the very second they made the attempt, they almost always completely shifted their thinking to survival. Every person who has survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived said they instantly regretted their decision to jump and the critical inner voice disappeared.

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can help save a life by getting educated about suicide prevention. Members of the Madison County Suicide Prevention Coalition not only welcome you to join us, but we can come to your business, school or place of worship to discuss suicide prevention and educate you in how to save a life. We have planned events for National Suicide Prevention Week. Kellie Kelly is scheduled to speak about suicide prevention at the Anderson Public Library at 6pm on September 8, 2014 in the Delaware Room. We also invite you to join us at a candlelight vigil on September 10, 2014 at 7pm in the Anderson Town Square to offer a light and hope to those who have lost someone to suicide, or to those who are thinking about ending their life. You can help, because we believe that Suicide is Everyone’s Business.

Susie MaierAbout the author: Susie Maier, LCSW, LCAC, BCD is Director of Outpatient Services at Aspire Indiana. While the beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Ms. Maier, you can learn more about Aspire Indiana at https://www.facebook.com/AspireIndiana.  You can also follow Ms. Maier on Twitter @SusieMaier.

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