Suicide Prevention Help

Posted by on Nov 19, 2019 in Blog

“My brother committed suicide a couple of years ago,” Michael explained staring into space. “I had no idea that he would do such a thing. His wife had died of cancer three years before, and I assumed he had gotten over it. My younger brother said that he must not have dealt with her loss well … only stuffed his feelings. Generally speaking though, he was a difficult guy to get next to.”

Identifying a potential suicide victim is not always easy. Yet failure to do so often brings guilt after they are gone.

One of the many things suicide victims like Michael’s brother have in common is their inability to deal with a loss of some kind. Learning how to be a better friend to someone who has experienced a loss can go a long way in preventing suicide.

Loss comes in many forms. The death of a loved one is an obvious loss, but events such as divorce, job loss, friends pulling away, a pet that died, social harassment, health issues, and a general feeling of hopelessness can be hard to deal with well. Instead of viewing these events in the lives of those you know and love with an attitude like “That’s life, deal with it,” make a commitment to longer-term assistance. In other words, true friendship will often be a better response.

Understand that many losses can take weeks and even months to adjust to. You can be a better friend by checking in with your friend about their loss every few weeks or at regular intervals. I suggest reminding yourself by writing on your calendar or setting a reminder on your phone to “check on Michael” in three weeks.

Even a simple question like, “How are you doing today with your feelings about your loss?” can open the topic and bring a bit of healing to their heart.

You can be a better friend in many cases by helping the depressed person talk through how they are doing. Let them “think” out loud about the way they are processing the life issues that have worn them down. Often a little guidance about ways to react to the loss or the act of violence they experienced can be the best thing to help them make decisions about their life.

Depression affects 20-25% of Americans daily with only one-half getting assistance to deal with it. Just coming alongside with concern can be exactly what your friend needs to realize they are not alone and that they do matter to someone.

They may tell you about their sense of loneliness, hopelessness, and even abandonment by God, or perhaps your gut feeling about their situation reveals their desperation. These can be signs that they need your friendship and need you to listen. It will be of help.

It is not necessary for you to have all the answers or to even fully understand what your friend is going through. Letting them know that life has ups and downs and that we all go through them can be a comfort.

Women attempt suicide from depression more than men. Alarmingly, 79% of men who attempt suicide succeed. The instances of suicide are on the rise among the young and elderly. Over 117 Americans die from suicide each day.

Remember, to aid a friend in need, avoid getting “in their face.” Short, direct questions can open a necessary conversation that doesn’t have to be long. You can be a better friend by erasing their thinking that “nobody cares” when you show yourself to be the one who does care.

If you sense that your friend may have undiagnosed mental illness issues or has made direct statements about ending their life, do not ignore them. It’s okay to suggest professional counseling. Just by talking about that option breaks down the stigma. Directing them to a professional can be the most friendly thing you can do.

What if, by being a better friend to a person you know who is vulnerable to the suggestion of suicide, YOU save your friend’s life?

The extra text, phone call, or coffee date would be worth it, wouldn’t it?

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Book Results in Speaking Appointments

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Blog, Book Review, Ministry

“We have enjoyed working with David Knapp and his wife Crystal Wacker Knapp in the process of writing his book and applaud this day with him and his family. His subject is one we have all faced or will face at some time. David eloquently guides us on a subject so tender…dealing with loss and knowing what to say and do to be the greatest support for those who are experiencing loss.” Becky Norwood, (Journey to Authorship)front_copy1ab
. David is available for speaking engagements and training events.
• Business Groups
• Hospice Staff and Gatherings
• Church Services
• Sunday School Classes
• Grief Recovery Groups
• Leadership Seminars and Retreats
• Leadership Staff Meetings
• Small Group GatheringsIDKWTS tchg IA 2

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Dealing with the Reality of Grief

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Blog, Comfort, Grief Relief

The pain of grieving a loss never really goes away.  It simply becomes a part of you.

I experienced this truth yesterday at the memorial service of a friend who died in his 30s.  Of course, I was saddened for the families’ loss at the outset of the service but wasn’t totally prepared for how the events of that time would affect me.  Twice during that celebration my tears flowed freely.  It was the times Luke, his 10-11 year old son, cried openly.  As I watched and heard him miss his dad I felt his pain from deep inside.

I reflected as to why this response came from me.  Two possibilities came to mind.  First, one of my sons was 10-11 years old when I told him his mom had died and held him on my lap for a time of sobbing.  However, my second option is what really took place.  I was that 10-11 year old boy 53 years ago.  My dad had died suddenly in his 30’s and it was ME that truly had experienced what Luke showed yesterday.  Watching him brought back that part of me that had hurt similarly so long ago.  It was a part of me…down deep.  And it was OK.

So, it behooves us to realize the reality of grief, deal with it properly and help those we know to do the same.



David Knapp

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