There's Nothing Selfish About Suicide

Kate Hurley's Huffington Post article, "There's Nothing Selfish about Suicide," explores her personal journey as a survivor of suicide. Through this process, she has concluded that "Suicide is a decision made out of desperation, hopelessness, isolation and loneliness. The black hole that is clinical depression is all-consuming. Feeling like a burden to loved ones, feeling like there is no way out, feeling trapped and feeling isolated are all common among people who suffer from depression."


She goes on to recommend ways to bring the conversation to light. Her best advice: listen fully. 

Know the warning signs for suicide. 50-75% of people who attempt suicide will tell someone about their intention. Listen when people talk. Make eye contact. Convey empathy. And for the love of people everywhere, put down that ridiculous not-so-SmartPhone and be human.

Check in on friends struggling with depression. Even if they don’t answer the phone or come to the door, make an effort to let them know that you are there. Friendship isn’t about saving lost souls; friendship is about listening and being present.

Reach out to survivors of suicide. Practice using the words “suicide” and “depression” so that they roll off the tongue as easily as “unicorns” and “bubble gum.” Listen as they tell their stories. Hold their hands. Be kind with their hearts. And hug them every single time.

Encourage help. Learn about the resources in your area so that you can help friends and loved ones in need. Don’t be afraid to check in over and over again. Don’t be afraid to convey your concern. One human connection can make a big difference in the life of someone struggling with mental illness and/or survivor’s guilt.

It's incredibly special when someone feels comfortable enough to reach out to you about their mental health struggles.  I think the most important, wonderful, giving and also impactful thing you can do as a friend is simply listen with a whole heart for as long as this person is willing to open up

Posted on March 16, 2015 .