How We Prevent Suicide in Our Home

Suicide helplines are awesome. They’re also the last line of defense we have at preventing suicide for ourselves and our loved ones. There is SO much we can do before we reach the point that we need to ask for help from strangers at the end of a telephone line or in a hospital.

As someone who was in that pit and who has made it her mission to reduce the rate of suicide in the LGBTQ community, this is a daily part of my life. I know it sounds heavy-handed to say that a suburban mom practices suicide prevention every day but there it is. I participated in a “therapy” that has a 57% suicide rate. Many therapists have let me know that “I’m only a survivor until I’m a statistic.” and for the rest of my life, I need to keep my mental health a priority.

Add to that the fact that I am a part of, and professionally work with, the LGBTQ population, a marginalized population that has one of the HIGHEST suicide rates, especially among youth.

Suicide awareness and prevention is something I live and work towards every day.

So two lists, one for what I do in my home for my family. And one for what I do for myself.

First, in my home for my family.

  1. We try to practice self-awareness through a variety of media and interaction. We have children’s books about meditation, regular family dinner talk is how “Mom dealt with a trigger today”, and we identify all kinds of self-judgment when it rears its ugly head.

Suicide Prevention that I implement for myself

  1. Daily mindful movement. I get stuck in my head a lot. I swirl and swirl, then I start to disconnect from my community, and it starts a whole massive downward spiral. I’ve been able to track it down to the instigating swirling thoughts. I’ve learned to combat them by getting into my body regularly. It’s usually a walk or a run but sometimes it’s just doing a stretching sequence in the living room. Sometimes it’s asking for a massage. I have to get into my body regularly, or my brain takes over and that’s not always a good thing.

Talking about the past is not the right choice for everyone, but for me, the more I say the words, the more I feel the strength to stay.

Stay. We need you. I know you can try to talk me out of that, like how I might not even know you, how can I possibly need you? I need you because we’re all connected. The smile you give to one person in the grocery store will travel until I receive it. The act of kindness you share with a stranger will find me one day. I know it. And the same for me and my acts, and you. I need you and you need me. So let’s stay.

Nonprofit founder. Public speaker. Lesbian. Mom of 4. ExMormon. Flyfisher.

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