So this isn’t a fun topic to talk about and everyone wants to avoid it. But then you have just one kid come up and confide in you and you’ll wish you’d talked about it over and over. And don’t stick your head in the sand. In the last three years here in Dyersburg, I’ve been a part of six different suicide crises. It’s a very real problem.
The thing is too, when it comes up, our minds immediately go into panic mode. It’s difficult to think and respond when you’re internally freaking out. So to help keep that from happening, do research. Lots of research. Listen to people’s stories. Read articles. Listen to podcasts. Immerse yourself now so you won’t regret the lack of preparation later.
To get the ball rolling, Here’s a couple videos. The first is of a guy who battled suicide in his teens. His story is interesting, but it gives some insight into the mindset of someone battling suicide. The next two videos are by a secular mental health group. You may not agree with some of their other videos about things like homosexuality and whatever, but don’t let that blind you to the wisdom of these videos. The one is for people who know others who are contemplating suicide. The other is for people who are themselves considering it. The former gives some good advice on how to react. The latter gives more good perspectives into what goes on in the minds of hurting people. They both also list alot of further research and resources. Use it! Equip yourself! Chances are you’ll come across it in some way when you work with teens. Be prepared. Ministry is a dirty, ugly business because we’re confronting hell on earth. Don’t go into battle unequipped.
So check these out. We’re also lucky to have Leigh Ann as a volunteer in the ministry and she works as a mental health professional. If you have questions or know someone who is struggling, feel free to reach out to the both of us. We’d be honored to help ready you!