Tuesday, September 10th is Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day. People around the world will light a candle and place it in the window. They’re shining light on the darkness of suicide.

How can you help prevent yet another beloved from dying by suicide?

First, know the risk factors and warning signs. See Understanding Suicide https://www.understandsuicide.com/

Many of you already know this information. You’ve struggled alongside your beloved for years. And still they died.

So, consider these words by U2’s Bono:

“All the problems that we find in the exterior world are just manifestations of the war…we hold inside our interior world. This is where the job of transformation has to start.”

From the inside – out

Mental Illness is exhausting – to experience and witness. It requires a shift from the inside – out.

Here are four suggestions for helping someone fight the war within. I’ve personally seen each of these strategies work in varying situations:

1) Hold a Circle of Celebration. Invite a struggling loved one and those who love them.

I once facilitated a Circle of Celebration. We held it on the day a young man returned from the hospital after attempting suicide. Each of his friends and their parents gathered under the trees in their backyard and I began:

“We are here to welcome you home, (I said his name). Had you died we would have missed you because…and each person looked and him and said what he brought to their life. Four years and many struggles later he is finally happily living!

2) Peace House hosts Suicide Bereavement Support groups. I’m the facilitator every 3rd Monday night of the month. See www.sbsnw.org

Kris Collins is the Coordinator for SBSNW. Recently, she shared a life-changing experience she had in August while facilitating a group in Texas.

A young man came in, gave his name and said nothing until the end of the group. Then he shared, “I thought I was coming to a group of people who’d help me kill myself. Instead, listening to the pain that you’re in, I am going to live, not die.”

So, take your struggling person with you to a support group.

3) “Go Outside to Go Within.” Take your person with you to a national park, nature area, hiking trail, or rafting trip.

4) Listen and engage with respect when they say things like:

“Nobody cares.”
“I am a burden.”
“You’d be better off without me.”

Repeat what they said with a tone of love and care. Then say, “Tell me more.” And LISTEN. With your entire body.

Notice your own fear, frustration, or irritation. BREATHE. Stay in the flow of reflecting, curiosity, and presence.

Get more information on how to make a difference

Check out Oregon’s Zero Suicide Plan:


Join The National Action Alliance in their goal of reducing suicide by 20%. https://theactionalliance.org/.

Please, together let’s reduce suicide by reducing the war within.

Begin by asking and teaching the question: “What is the most Kind and Loving Thing I can Do for myself right now?”

Are you mourning the death by suicide of a beloved? YOU will be in my heart and mind as I light a candle Sunday and Monday evenings.

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,