Up front, we need to recognize the specifics of what we are discussing.
First and foremost, suicide is a psychological reaction to the experiences the person has had and their personal reactions to those experiences. The reality of the broader world is that each person is living his or her own lives. He or she is dealing with their own demons. As such, we from the outside cannot know what is manageable for most people. No amount of noble sympathy or empathy effects that choice…in the moment.
As many people who want to help may try, there is a hard reality that the will to live, to confront one’s own demons, and resolve one’s conflicts to move forward must be done by that person.
Certainly the person who is suffering can reach out for help from others if they want that help. Likewise family and friends can equally help in their own way. But that help will only be accepted by the person in need if he or she being offered the help actually wants it.
Indeed, we hear about suicide, read about it, but very rarely are we able to identify or understand it. There are such a myriad of possibilities and reasons a person may think that they need to end it all. But there are also many times people closest to the person may be at a loss as to what can be done to help.
By no means is the following information perfect or complete. However, after the situations I have faced over the years, I would like to share this with others as information to help those you know who may be in need.
That said, if the person with their demons does reach for help, it is equally the responsibility of those to whom s/he reaches out needs to search and find that help. For what I can do, here are links and info that may prove assistive.
Let’s begin with the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide to understand the risk factors and warning signs of suicide:
If and when there is a cry for help, please make the effort and let your family, your friends, your peers know they are valued. If you are concerned about someone, please guide them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Within the State of New Jersey, there are numerous opportunities for support and assistance. As I have had significant experience within Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, I can provide the following opportunities.
For students at Rutgers:
If you know a student at Rutgers who is struggling with his or her life or a situation within his or her life, alert them to Psych Services at Rutgers:
For employees at Rutgers or people connected with Rutgers:
Individuals who are either employed at Rutgers or who are involved with Rutgers as family members have the opportunity to choose from the myriad of Suicide Awareness, Prevention, & Postvention at the University:
Within the State of New Jersey:
For all who are living in NJ, there is the NJ Hopeline, available 24/7:
For Military Veterans:
Unfortunately, there are numerous veterans who struggle with PSTD and many other psychological adversities on a daily basis. Please know you are not alone. Support may be found through:
NJ Vet2Vet, 866-838-7654;
Vets4Warriors, 855-838-8255; and
Vet2Vet Talk Line, 855-838-7481.
All of these links are intended to provide a sense of what may be available in the other 49 States and around the world for individuals who are battling thoughts of suicide or self-harm as a way to combat their emotions. As a friend, family member, or someone who recognizes what is described in the first link, if you feel up to the task, seek out these similar types of websites and phone banks in your State and your country. If not, that is understandable and respected.
But please pass this information to others who may be in need. Pass this information onto those people in need, whether that may be the person with their demons or the people seeking to help the person with the demons.
Thank you for taking the time to read this content. I hope you will never need to use the information, but if you do, I hope it is the invaluable material that will save a life.