Letter to the Editor

'There's Hope, There's Help'

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Operation Barnabas Committee of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake was planning to launch a suicide awareness/prevention program for veterans beginning on Memorial Day Weekend, however due to the increase in anxiety and stress attributed to the coronavirus they have decided to release parts of their initiative now under the title: "There's Hope There's Help"

With people finding themselves quarantined at home and, in many cases, out of work for an undetermined number of days stress can increase. Individuals and families might find the pressures unrelenting. There are healthy ways to deal with these stresses, but some individuals might believe that there is no way out. They may begin to think that suicide is the only answer.

Thousands of people die by their own hand every year, but millions think about it. What are some signs to look for if someone you know is thinking about committing suicide? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified these signs:

1. Talking about wanting to die or killing oneself.

2. Looking for a way or the means of killing oneself.

3. Expressing feelings of hopelessness or not having a reason to live.

4. Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

5. Talking about being a burden to others.

6. Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

7. Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

8. Sleeping too little or too much.

9. Withdrawing or feeling isolated.

10. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.

11. Displaying extreme mood swings.

A couple of others that could be added are:

12. Making final plans.

13. Giving away treasured items.

14. A preoccupation with death

If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs take them seriously. Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. This is a free, confidential, and always available number.

It would be good for everyone to put this number in the contact list of their cell phone so that it is always available in case it is needed.

What can you do?

It is important that you be a friend, accepting and non-judgmental. Ask them if they have thoughts of suicide and, if they do, take them seriously. Call the suicide lifeline and do not leave them alone. Never agree to keep their suicidal thoughts a secret always assist them in getting help.

There is hope! There is help! In addition to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline we encourage everyone who feels this way to seek help from Counselors, Pastors, and Doctors who offer emotional, spiritual, and medical help to overcome these feelings in order to get back on a more normal track of life.

At Immanuel Lutheran Church we believe that every person is loved, and every life is important. We would like to share that message and Godís love with you.

Rev. Michael Wolfram

Lutheran Family Service

Member of Immanuel Lutheran Church