With people finding themselves isolated at home and uncertain about the future, stress can increase, and thoughts of suicide may make their way into your days.

Maybe you lost your job, your small business was ordered to be closed, or you are facing bankruptcy or other difficult circumstances. Your children miss their friends and are scared of the unknown. Some individuals and families might find the pressures unrelenting.

Many people find healthy ways to deal with these stresses, but many individuals believe that there is no way out. They may begin to think that suicide is the only answer. Thousands of people die by their own hand every year. And 9.4 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide within the past 12 months. What are some signs to look for if someone you know is thinking about committing suicide?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified these eleven signs:

  1. Talking about wanting to die or killing oneself.
  2. Looking for a way or the means of killing oneself.
  3. Expressing feelings of hopelessness or not having a reason to live.
  4. Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  5. Talking about being a burden to others.
  6. Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  7. Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  8. Sleeping too little or too much.
  9. Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  10. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  11. Displaying extreme mood swings.

A few others that could be added are:

  1. Making final plans.
  2. Giving away treasured items.
  3. Having a preoccupation with death

If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, take them seriously. Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. This is a free, confidential, and always available number. Put this number in the contact list of your cell phone so that it’s always available in case it is needed.

What can YOU do?

It’s important that you be a friend, accepting and non-judgmental. Ask them if they have thoughts of suicide and, if they do, take them seriously. Call the suicide lifeline or bring them to the nearest emergency room. Just do not leave them alone. Never agree to keep their suicidal thoughts a secret and always assist them in getting help.

There is hope! There is help! In addition to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we encourage everyone who feels this way to seek help from counselors, pastors, and doctors who offer emotional, spiritual, and medical help to overcome these feelings in order to get back on a more normal track of life.

At Lutheran Family Service, we believe that every person is loved, and every life is important. We would like to share that message and God’s love with you and other healthy means of coping and looking to your future. Call 515-251-4900 or reach out online at: https://lutheranfamilyservice.org/contact/.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Rev. Michael Wolfram – Congregational Services and Ministry Support for Lutheran Family Service

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