Robin Williams died this week and it reminded me yet again of how easy it is to make a life and death difference in someone’s life and yet how difficult it can be for us to consciously choose to actually do so.
Check out this TedTalk video shared this week by Lauren Ostrowski.
As licensed mental health professionals, we are required to shatter the silence around suicide by starting conversations that matter – not just with our clients but also with our neighbors, our friends, and our family members.
That’s part of the advocacy that we are mandated to engage in.
What I know is that most people who are thinking about suicide never speak to a health care professional . . . not ever . . . even if they already have an ongoing professional relationship with a mental health professional.
Instead, most people thinking about suicide choose to talk to a friend . . . or a family member . . . or even a colleague.
Mental health professionals are not their first choice.
That means that you mother or your child or your partner or your sibling is much more likely to hear someone talking about suicide today than you are in your own office.
As you are thinking about the silence that surrounds suicide today, ask yourself these questions . . . .
- What are you doing to prepare those around you for that conversation?
- When did you last initiate a conversation about suicide with someone outside of your work setting?
- Why is that? (That reason matters.)
- And, what is it you are willing to do today to be better prepared to have another (conversation) that matters?
If the words “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” stick in your throat . . . .
If you’ve never asked someone about suicide . . . .
Please consider getting trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training through LifeWorks now.
It’s time . . . to shatter the silence.
It’s your job.