First Love. The Call. First Death.

Suicide is confronting.

It is not easy to talk about, to understand for those not wishing to die, and even harder on the other side of the death by design. When Nick died I wished I had done more. I had spoken to him directly, supported him in connecting and speaking with his family, and was always willing to sit with him. The trouble is, we can never truly know what someone else is feeling which limits how we can help to ease their ‘ouch’

After Nick died I enrolled in a two day training in suicide prevention. Most of the participants were health professionals or social workers. I was among the few who were there for personal reasons. The one key takeaway that I remember from the training was to directly ask the person if they are thinking of ending their own life. It was made clear that assumptions or indirect questioning does not help. Connecting people to resources, professionals and listening to them can help.

In 1994 the internet was a new thing! Googling something was not an option. Today there are many resources online and hotlines to connect to either by phone or private messaging. My hope is that more young people like Nick, are today googling and connecting and finding the ease to their ouch.

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