December 21, 2013

Suicide Prevention: Not for Suicidal People

I have mixed feelings about what they call Suicide Prevention.  As a matter of fact, I have real concerns about the whole Suicide Prevention movement and whom it is geared to.

But I decided I should give it a fair trial.  So I Googled "suicide prevention."  What follows is some of what I found.

The first non-ad link was for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  That sounded promising, so I clicked it and saw that their big deal is their help line.  They want me to call for help.

Well, I don't want to call a damned phone number; one of depression's symptoms is isolation and I don't want to talk to anyone.  Besides, the only time I ever called a hotline (not this particular one) and said I was suicidal, they put me on hold.  I hung up.  I have no intention of ever calling one again.  Can't they just give me something encouraging to read?

Then I saw a tab entitled "Get Help."  When I put my cursor over it, I was excited to see what kind of "Help for Yourself" I might find.

But when I saw the categories, I realized there would be no help for me there.  So the "Lifeline" was lifeless for me.

The second link was for the Web site of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  I entered "I am suicidal" in the search field, and on the second page of search results I found "I am struggling."

So I clicked and in big letters it said that if I was "in crisis," I should call a specific phone number.  Remember that one of my symptoms is that I don't want to talk to anyone.  Not helpful.

I tried some of AFSP's other links, and they took me to pages that were suited to professionals.  They offered "testimonials," so I went to that page and saw that most of the testimonials were of people who were suicidal themselves after they lost someone to suicide.  To be frank, if I'm suicidal myself I don't want to hear someone whining about how hurt they were.  I'm looking for someone like me.

And then I found this little AFSP gem:
On experiencing relief after a suicide loss: 
It can be extremely difficult to admit you may feel some relief after a suicide loss, inducing additional feelings of guilt, shame, or anger. It is not uncommon to feel relieved in some ways. Chronic mental illnesses can take a huge emotional and physical toll on families and communities. It is very hard to watch the person you love suffer with severe mental health issues. It can be a relief that their suffering is over, as well as your struggles. . . . 
Well, well, well.  Now I know for sure that I'm a burden.  Thanks a lot, AFSP.  Fail.

The third site was Helpguide.  Here I found the very first thing that appealed to me: "Most people who commit suicide don't want to die—they just want to stop hurting."  Okay, now they had me; they knew how I felt.  Further down the page there was even a link to a page they called "SuicideHelp."

Finally, here was what I needed.  Funny thing, though, this was not even a suicide prevention organization.

And the fourth link was to the National Institute of Mental Health.  Here I found lots of scientific stuff, studies, overviews, facts, and statistics, but nothing to help a currently-suicidal person.  There was a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looked promising, but again I just found scientific articles.  After many clicks and links, I located this advice from the Mayo Clinic:

Very hard to find and not the most effective advice, but at least it was aimed at me, not some "survivor."  But again, the Mayo Clinic is not a suicide prevention organization.

Well, you get the idea.  It appears to me that these suicide prevention people are a selfish bunch.  They focus on the harm that suicide does to survivors. They are all about themselves. They want to prevent other people from feeling the loss that they have felt.  But I don't get the feeling that they want to talk to a suicidal person to learn about how the person is feeling.

Too bad, because that's how they can prevent suicide.


  1. Very informational...Thanks Pam! I think that people say they want to help, so they put all the bullsh** out there and then walk away with a smile on their face and a pat on their back saying..There, I have given these people what they want.. BIG FAIL...Their stories and supposed wisdom are not what those who are suffering want.. We want actual help...not call this number and then that number. We want to be told we are not flawed, that we are human and we do suffer and that we are recognized as human beings, not statistics and not flawed individuals who are saying things to get attention (my biggest pet peeve) The tid bits of actual wisdom are hidden among the mass and they should not be. They should be out front where all can see, but that would take the glory away from the others and in today's society.. It's all about the glory and making themselves look good . Thanks for letting me do my own little rant! Hugs <3

    1. Every time I publish a post, I feel like I'm sending my heart out into the world to be judged. I usually feel like I'm doing something kind of dangerous by doing that. But then I find out I'm not the only one who feels the way I do, and that makes me feel a whole lot better.

      Your rants are *always* welcome here, Beth! XOXOX