It’s been a rough couple days here at ChronicBabe HQ. I lost a family member to suicide this week, and it’s shaken me to the core.
Why did she do it? Why didn’t she accept help long before this week? Why didn’t anyone take her previous attempts seriously? Why am I so mad and sad at the same time? Why do I empathize with her and also fear that feeling? I’m all mixed up.
Unfortunately, suicide is quite common among those with chronic physical and mental illnesses, as well as chronic pain. Some research has claimed that 10% of suicides are committed by people with chronic illness or pain. A study published in JAMA agrees, citing back pain as an even stronger motivator of suicidal ideation.
In light of this week’s experience and these statistics, I am foregoing my usual AWAP Wednesday video and instead posting a ton of resources on suicide. I hope you can understand why.
Please join me in sending light and love to all who contemplate or commit suicide, and to their friends, families and other loved ones, who are left behind with so many questions.
And please, please y’all – let’s leave judgment at the door.
Last but not least: I’m sure I’ve left off some amazing resources. Please add any you wish in the comments below.
Resources: For those who are considering suicide, and their loved ones
To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) – a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline – a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Suicide Hotlines organized by state – just what it sounds like.
2-1-1.org – created by United Way, this site provides free and confidential resources on health care, housing, counseling and more.
Veterans Crisis Line – connects Veterans in crisis (and their friends and families) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs employees through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat or text.
I Am Alive – an online crisis network, 100% of whose volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention.
Thinking…About Suicide – a Christian faith-based organization offering a platform for those contemplating suicide, as well as survivors, to talk about their feelings.
Kevin Briggs, Golden Gate guardian, TED Talk – a message for families of those who are contemplating suicide, from someone who has helped many.
Suicide: The warning signs
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education – this site offers this concise list of things to watch out for, plus a ton of other resources.
WebMD – this tried-and-true healthcare site has its own take on the signs to watch out for.
More general resources on suicide and mental illness
National Alliance on Mental Illness – this is an organization that consistently offers reliable advice, year in and year out.
PsychCentral – this site not only offers resources on suicide, it can also help you find a healthcare provider near you.
Resources: For those who have lost someone to suicide
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – this venerable organization offers tons of coping tips and many, many resources at its site
Survivors of Suicide – their site design may be straight outta 1997, but their advice is very solid.
Psychology Today – grieving associated with suicide loss is different, says this site; this article offers advice for those in grief, and advice for their friends and family on how to be most supportive.
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors – a non-profit that provides healing support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.