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Archive for the ‘Suicide Prevention’ Category

But the Lord

Faith is always listed as a protective factor that can help someone at risk of suicide. We all experience dark days that require reminders of hope. The Bible offers many valuable quotes and verses on strength. It also encourages us to be strong in our faith and our daily walk with God.

September is suicide prevention month. Take time to review a few Bible verses that can help you or someone you know during the tough times of life. They are a great reminder that we are not alone.

Tell everyone who is discouraged, be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue.  Isaiah 35:4

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  2 Corinthians 5:17

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Psalm 119:28

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Ephesians 6:10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Psalm 22:19

For he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with testing he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Psalm 28:7-8

The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2

Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.  Isaiah 33:2

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  Colossians 2:6-7

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:13-14

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:29-31

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.  Habakkuk 3:19

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.  Ephesians 3:16

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:57

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suicide prevention month

Suicide is a significant problem in the military claiming the lives of 22 veterans each day.

Suicide also takes a tremendous toll on our society.  In 2013, 41,149 suicide deaths were reported in the US.  We could easily read these suicide rates and forget that every number represents not only a life lost, but also a broken family, and a community wounded with pain.  Each death leaves behind a group of hurting people.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to suicide.  People contemplate suicide for many different reasons:  substance abuse, divorce, family separation, financial matters, legal trouble, a major illness, depression, and many other reasons. While the causes vary, we can all show universal concern and support.

Here are some ways to help people at-risk of suicide.

  1. Be present.  Show your concern for people in pain.  Make time for the person who is hurting. Scripture shares that we need to “bear one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2).  Take time to help others through their days of difficulty.
  2. Listen.  Allow that person to say what is causing the pain.  Share the gift of silent listening and then you can guide your friend with wise counsel.
  3. Do something.  The Bible encourages us to be, “doers of the word, not hearers only…” (James 1:22).  Too often, people at-risk are so overwhelmed with depression, stress, or anguish that they don’t know where to turn next, give that person guidance.  Share resources that can help.  Take them to a doctor, pastor, or counselor.  Call the VA hospital.  Find a way to connect the person with assistance.  Take action.

September is Suicide Prevention Month.  Take time to talk with a friend who is down.  Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255.  It is a 24/7 resource with trained professionals ready to help people find encouragement and hope.

Make a difference by addressing the problem of suicide.  Demonstrate compassion and concern for those who are hurting.  Be available to friends in need and take time to listen.  The time you invest could save a life.

 

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Lifeline

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.  Suicide impacts every nation and every community on earth.  While the topic may be taboo in many circles, it is vital that people get involved to help those at risk of self harm.

As this day rolls up on the calendar, here are a few reminders to consider:

  • learn the warning signs of suicide
  • ask directly if you suspect someone is suicidal
  • care for the person at risk by listening
  • escort the person at risk to a helping agency or resource
  • know local and national resources

The last point is extremely important.  People should always have or know a phone number to dial in case a loved one is contemplating suicide.  If you or someone you know needs immediate help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support to people in crisis.  This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is operated by trained counselors throughout the nation.

Since 2007, the Lifeline has been providing special suicide prevention services for U.S. military veterans.  When dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), veterans, service members, and their families are prompted, to press “1” to be connected to a veterans suicide prevention hotline specialist.  Know that these counselors are familiar with military issues and want the best care possible for America’s warriors.

Be sure to add this number to the contacts in your phone.  One phone call can save a life, so make time to remember the number, share it with a friend, or even volunteer at a local call center.  Caring professionals are always available to help.

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NPGAW

March 3-9 marks National Problem Gambling Week.

The goal of this campaign is to educate the general public, and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally.

Research finds that up to 3% of the US population will have a gambling problem. That equals 9 million Americans, yet only a small fraction seek out services, like treatment and self-help recovery programs.

Those with a gambling addiction are tough to identify and uniquely different from substance abuse addictions.  Gambling is connected to a fantasy.  Gamblers can also appear fully functional until they hit rock bottom.  There is no way to measure gambling in a scientific manner like urine, blood, or hair samples.  Gamblers tend to act alone or in secret from loved ones.  Another difficulty in finding those with the problem is that there is no saturation point for gambling.  Even professional can miss the signs until the final stages of loss and destruction.

These are critical discussion points because gamblers quickly turn to suicide.  If a problem gambler is isolating himself or herself, hiding financial losses, and lying about the issue, then family and friends may not even be aware of the problem until the person attempts suicide.

These tragic events are growing in our military communities and with veterans who have returned from war.  Recent studies show that 1 in 10 veterans have a problem or pathological gambling addiction.  And when you look at military suicide rates, financial problems are the second leading cause of suicide.  Veterans are another unique population because of service-related issues like combat stress reactions, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.  Gambling may not be the entire cause for suicide in the military, but it is one piece of the puzzle that we can address as a caring community.

No matter where you live, there is hope for those who suffer from gambling problems.  Encourage people to reach out for help.  Resources are available in every community.  Find a local or national resource to help problem gamblers.  Counselors are only one call or click away from saving a life.

You can find counselors and additional resources at:

National Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-522-4700

Gamblers Anonymous www.gamblersanonymous.org

Military One Source 1-800-342-9647

Focus on the Family / faith-based counseling:  1-855-771-HELP (4357).

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President Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to expand suicide prevention strategies and improve access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for veterans, service members, and their families.

Citing an obligation to “build an integrated network of support capable of providing effective mental health services,” the order includes an array of directions for the Department  of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal agencies.  Collaboration with community-based providers, including community mental health clinics and substance abuse treatment facilities, was specifically required, particularly for areas where the Department of Veterans Affairs has had challenges in providing timely access to services for veterans.  In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services must expand the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50% and “ensure that any veteran identifying him or herself as being in crisis connects with a mental health professional or trained mental health worker within 24 hours.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs will also work with the Department of Defense to establish a national, 12-month suicide prevention campaign focused on connecting veterans to mental health services, officials reported.

To ensure veterans have access to these services, the executive order also calls on the VA and HHS to establish at least 15 pilot sites where VA can partner with local mental health providers. This initiative, officials said, will help ensure services are available in regions where VA has had trouble hiring or placing providers.

The order also directs VA and HHS to develop a plan to increase access to mental health care in rural communities.

The Veterans Crisis Line is a confidential hotline where veterans and family members can immediately connect with trained professionals during a time of crisis.  The toll-free hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

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Suicide is a monumental problem in our society and in the military. Currently, a member of the Armed Forces dies each day from suicide. We could easily read the suicide rates for 2012 and forget that every suicide statistic represents a life lost.  A death that leaves behind scores of hurting people.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to suicide. People contemplate suicide for many different reasons; increased alcohol and drug use, divorce, family dissolution, financial matters, legal trouble, an illness, depression, and many other reasons. While the causes vary, we can all show universal concern and support.

Here are some ways to help people at-risk of suicide.

1. Be present. Show your concern for people in pain.  Make time for the person who is hurting.  Scripture shares that we need to “bear one another’s burdens.” Take time to help through their days of difficulty.

2. Listen. Express compassion through listening and responding. Empathy is a great way to show concern to a person experiencing pain. Hear his or her concerns. Allow that person to say what is causing the pain.  Share the gift of silent listening and then you can guide your friend with wise counsel.

3. Do something about the problem. Too often, people at-risk are so overwhelmed with depression, grief, stress, or anguish that they don’t know where to turn next. Give that person guidance. Share resources that can help. Take them to a medic, chaplain, or counselor. Call the VA hospital. Find a way to connect the person with assistance. The Bible encourages us to be, “doers of the word, not hearers only.”  Take action, especially when it comes to the important issue of suicide.

Suicide impacts our state, our community, and National Guard units across the nation.  While causes will vary, we can all make a difference in addressing the problem.  Demonstrate compassion and concern for those who are hurting.  Take time and be available to friends in need.  The time and efforts you make can save a life.

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It is time to make a difference in your community.  It is time to stand with those who are suffering.

September is suicide prevention month.  Take time to find, list, and highlight organizations that can save a life.  Find out what resources are available in your community and share those resources.  No matter where you live, your community has access to a local, state, or national group that helps people at-risk of suicide.

Possible organizations include:  crisis centers, hospitals, churches, charities, call centers, veteran groups, along with schools and universities.  It is also important to know the warning signs and symptoms of people at risk.  Take time to educate yourself, take a class, or attend a survivors of suicide support group.

Suicide is a tremendous problem in our communities and our society.  It hurts spouses, children, parents, extended families, friends, and co-workers.  When it is all said and done, suicide impacts everyone.  Take action this September.  Make a difference in your community.  If you find a meaningful website, share it with your friends.  If you attend an ASIST class, tell people how to intervene.   Your actions and words of encouragement could help to save a life.

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