Content warning: mention of suicide
Many years ago, a friend died by suicide. Several of our friends and colleagues had been supporting her through some physical challenges. We knew she was hurting; we did not know she was suicidal.
With our friend’s death, we learned about the warning signs for suicide and learned what to do if we see those warning signs in a friend or acquaintance.
A few years later, after praying for God’s guidance, I confronted another friend when she showed evidence of warning signs. I’m thankful that friend is still alive.
Spring is the season when—contrary to what one might think—more suicides occur. As many people respond to the longer days and warmer weather, those who are seriously depressed may feel more hopeless and left out.
Ask God’s guidance and listen to God’s nudging that you are God’s hands and voice for helping in the world. Educate yourself. Learn how to respond.
If you are depressed, seek help. Depression is not a shameful condition to be kept hidden. Medications are available. Friends and relatives really care for you, even if you don’t feel worthy of their care.
This message is excerpted from “What can you do to relieve suffering” by Phyllis Rude from the April 2, 2020, blog of the Women of the ELCA.
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