- Previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide
- Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma
What can you do to help STOP SUICIDE?
First, watch your family and friends, for the warning signs listed above. If you notice anything, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it. I made the mistake of treading lightly around Kris, just trying to show him I loved and supported him, but what I should have been doing was get in his face, make him hear me and start a continuing conversation. At the time I didn’t want to pressure him and we saw how well that worked. My pastor told a story at Kris’s funeral about what another young man wrote in his suicide note – “The weeds of my mind have grown so long that they entangled my tongue and I am no longer able to speak.” The pastor continued “There is a takeaway from that and I hope all of you take it with you this afternoon. When someone stops communicating with you, you need to know that something is wrong. Do not sweep it under the rug. Sometimes all we can do is let someone pour their heart out to us and sometimes all we can do is listen.”
Second, there are many ways to volunteer. With local programs and events in all 50 states, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s chapters are at the forefront of suicide prevention. Our mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP engages with families, mental health professionals, community and local business leaders, school administrators and others interested in preventing suicide. Many counties, cities, colleges, and schools have their own organizations too. Many offer training so you can spread the word of suicide prevention. You can sign up here to become an AFSP advocate.
Third, WALK, there are suicide prevention walks all over the country. Our family with be walking in the Walk for Hope organized by Prevent Suicide of Columbia County here in Wisconsin on September 22. To find a walk near you or to create your own walk, follow this link. Also, watch your local papers or search on the internet for walks near you.
Last, DONATE. There are many ways to donate. You can find ways to donate nationally here. You can donate locally if you have an organization in your area.
Or you can donate for someone who is participating in a walk, like me and my family. This walk is very important to Kris’ daughter who is now 6. She calls it “Daddy’s Walk” because we get together to celebrate and talk about her daddy. She is still too young to understand the true meaning and having that conversation when she gets older is going to be so hard. We call our group Kris’ Krusaders. Kris loved Superman and Batman or any Super Hero for that matter.
Our local organization does not have a way to take online donations so my daughter, Elizabeth has set up a Go Fund Me page for our family with a goal of $500. I was hoping to say if everyone just gave $1 we would easily reach our goal, but Go Fund Me’s minimum donation is $5. (They also ask for a tip, but you can choose “other” and type in 0.00.) If you would like to donate and feel more comfortable sending a check, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook, and I will send you the address. We welcome all donations, no matter the amount.
About Prevent Suicide Columbia County
The funds raised will benefit Prevent Suicide Columbia County and its local suicide prevention initiatives, including:
Free QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training that teaches 3 simple steps anyone can take to save a life from suicide
Support groups for survivors of suicide loss
Public information campaigns, including social media and an on-screen video shown at local movie theaters
Supporting community sectors, like law enforcement and mental and physical health care providers, to implement best practices for preventing suicide
Increasing access to local mental health care services
A suicide-free community where people will recognize the warning signs,
intervene and help individuals find hope.
To prevent suicide through awareness, education, collaboration, and improved access to mental health care, and to support those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
My personal goal is to have no other family go through the pain that our family continues to endure because of suicide. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The world will not be better off without you and everyone will miss you if you are gone.