Shining a Light On Suicide

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans. More than 45,000 people took their own lives in 2016 in the U.S.—more than twice the number of homicides. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death. Center Disease Control

Suicide remains a taboo subject. Just as cancer rose out of secrecy to public focus, so must suicide. To be clear, the suicide rate does not increase during the holidays as often reported but it is a time when families gather and discussions can happen. 

If you have a friend or relative who is in deep distress, make a personal connection with them. Don’t be afraid to ask if they are thinking about suicide. Ask them to talk about what they are going through and what brought them to considering suicide. Paraphrase their answers back to them so they know you’re listening. You can’t fix another person but you can help them get through the moment.

Affirmation: I can help another.

Coaching question/request: How would you speak with a person who you suspect is in deep distress or contemplating suicide? If you are thinking of suicide, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 now. 

Last Words Are Significant

This has nothing to do with you. Don’t feel guilty. Ask your dad. Suicide note left by Kate Spade for her 13-year-old daughter

My heart goes out to Frances Beatrix Spade, Kate Spade’s young daughter. Obviously, one of the most troubling ways to lose a mother is through suicide. I’m glad her mother left her a note…I only wish it would have included thoughts of love (perhaps it did and we just don’t know about it from the news reporting).

In my book I have a section on the significance of “last words” as they can change a daughter’s life…my mother’s last words certainly made a difference in mine.

If you are a daughter whose mother died from suicide, I know Kate Spade’s suicide might bring up old, sad, and troubling remembrances. I pray you can acknowledge these feelings and move on. If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call a friend, a relative or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

Affirmation: I am strong.

Coaching questions: If your mother is gone, what were her last words? What significance do they have for you? Why?