I’ve been a proud member of the U.S. Navy for almost 14 years. One of the many things I love about the Navy is the forward-thinking ethos when it comes to training. We constantly train, on everything from Sexual Assault prevention and reporting to Financial Health, but one of the topics that hit home with me is Suicide Prevention.
Every year we discuss suicide awareness and prevention, especially around this time of year with the holidays rapidly approaching. While the majority of people look forward to the holidays and spending time with family and friends, some people see it as a depressing time and the suicide rate tends to increase. That’s why it’s imperative to be able to recognize the warning signs.
In my civilian job I am a law enforcement officer. In that capacity I often times must respond to scenes where someone has taken their own life. I recently went to a home where a person had done so and in speaking to the neighbors, they each gave me tail tail signs of an impending disaster. They each thought that the person may be thinking of committing suicide yet no one said or did anything to help. Now, are they criminally liable for not helping intervene? No, but personally, I would feel horrible if I were them.
So, as we approach the holidays, please be mindful of your neighbors and those who are near and dear to you. Look for the warning signs and don’t be scared to ask the hard questions. When it comes to life and death, it’s no time to sugar coat things or pass warning signs off as being silly. Get help for the person.
I’m going to add some links here to help you learn more about the warning signs and what to do but remember, if someone makes comments about a loss of hope or ending it all, call 911 and get them some help.