Where there is hope, there is recovery: Suicide Awareness

When depression intensifies to a severe level, it can be crippling, preventing those impacted from being able to complete their activities of daily living. People who are depressed often feel overwhelmed and find their usual coping skills are not working anymore. They may begin to shut down, avoiding friends, family and other obligations. They often find it difficult to even get out of bed in the morning. Dr. Michelle Clinger from Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services shared her insights and tips when identifying someone struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide. 

Did you Know?

The World Health Organization reported in 2001 that one out of every four individuals will experience some type of mental health disorder in their lifetime.  The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation’s website indicates that according to the Ohio Behavioral Health Barometer, Volume 4, over 1.7 million Ohioans reported living with a mental illness yet less than half ever received treatment.  

Dr. Brandon Kozar, a Corporate Psychologist from Columbus, recently shared a profound thought that is worth sharing with others. To paraphrase his thoughts: 

When people have a legal problem, they seek expert advice from an attorney; and when people are having financial issues, they seek expert advice from a financial advisor; and when people are experiencing tremendous physical pain, they seek out expert advice from a medical professional.  Why is it then that people suffering from profound emotional pain refrain from turning to a behavioral health expert for advice and/or assistance?

Reasons for not seeking help include fear and stigma, not knowing help is available, and/or feeling so hopeless that the person doesn’t believe anything will help.  Left untreated, the severity of the depression may worsen to the point where suicide is considered and maybe even attempted. 

Signs of suicide include: 

  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawing from family and other loved ones
  • Suicidal threats
  • Suicidal plan
  • A focus on death
  • Feelings of being trapped with no reason to live
  • Isolating from others, getting one’s affairs in order
  • Giving away prized possessions

The best thing you can do when you see someone struggling is to talk to them. Let them know you see them and are willing to listen. Offer to help the person get help. 

Call Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services’ Hotline for help at 1-800-826-1306. Hotline services are available 24/7, 365 days per year. Trained specialists offer non-judgmental and confidential emotional support and guidance. Loved ones can also call the hotline to discuss their concerns and get information about available services. 

Additional resources include: 

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides general information about helping someone who is suicidal.

Be Present Ohio provides information specific on how to talk with youth/young adults who may be suicidal.  

Michelle Clinger is the Clinical Director of Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services. She is a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.  She obtained her Master’s Degree in December of 1986 and is approaching her 35th year of being a Behavioral Health Professional.