Myth: everyone is happy at the holidays & during the Spring time. Fact: suicides increase during the holidays, & Spring. One reason: everyone around the suicidal person is feeling happy, & she realizes she still isn’t feeling happy.Now is the time to be on the lookout for potentially suicidal people in your life: spouses, children, friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Possible signs of suicidal thinking:

*Sudden change in demeanor
(i.e., but not limited to: sad, depressed)
*No longer engaging in favorite activities
*Giving away treasured possessions
*Drop in grades, job performance, sexual interest
*Statements such as:
“What’s the point (in trying, going on, living, etc.)?”
*Talking about suicide
*Para-suicidal behaviors (suddenly starting/resuming/
increasing: “cutting,” smoking, drugs, drinking)
*Suddenly isolating themselves
*Significant changes in behavior
*Recent significant event (job loss, breakup, death in family,
or even seemingly positive events such as high school
reunion, promotion at work, etc.)
*History of suicide attempt(s)

If you suspected a friend was suicidal, would you know what to do to help? Part 2 will cover what to do to help a suicidal person. In the mean time, here is a suicide crisis line that serves the Chicagoland area and beyond: 630-482-9393. If you or someone you care about is feeling suicidal, call this number. Trained staff are there 24/7 to help.

If you are out of state or in another country, and are experiencing a crisis, check the Internet, phone book, or other sources to see if there is a crisis line or suicide hotline that serves your area. If not, call the number listed above, & see if they can help you or refer you.

Obviously, if you are experiencing a crisis, you can also call 911 or other emergency police line, call the emergency room at a local hospital, or call for an ambulance.

The more you know, the less scary the idea of suicide will be. The more you’re able to stay calm, the more you can help prevent suicide in your sphere of influence. This is the first in a series on suicide prevention. Let’s work together to keep people safe in 2014  Many blessings!

This “Suicide-Prevention Series” brought to you by Slam Horse

Laughter is the best medicine…

If you take life too seriously, you’ve already missed the point