The stats on depression and suicide in the United States are deeply concerning. According to the CDC:
- Suicide rates increased almost 35% over the last twenty years.
- One person dies by suicide in our country every 11 minutes.
- In the United States, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 10-34.
- Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-44.
Depression is a complex web of emotions that can affect anyone – young or old, humble or successful. In the early stages, feelings of disappointment can turn into discouragement. Instead of passing them off as a normal part of life, the sufferer overthinks and internalizes negative events. In later stages, emotions descend into a downward spiral: depression to despair to destruction.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “How to Help a Friend Who Is Thinking About Suicide,” I’m talking with Dr. Gregory Jantz, a mental health counselor and bestselling author, including a book that will form the foundation for our conversation today called So Much to Live For: How to Provide Help and Hope to Someone Considering Suicide.
Dr. Jantz shares both clear and subtle warning signs that a friend is sinking into despair and thinking of suicide, and explains how you should respond.
At Focus on the Family, we have been so dismayed by the rising rate of suicide, especially among our youth, that we’ve developed a helpful web-based resource called Alive to Thrive: A Biblical Guide to Preventing Teen Suicide, a free six-session program that includes video interviews with experts and roundtable discussions on how to prevent suicide. It also includes interviews with suicide survivors and provides hope to kids in troubling situations. Best of all, this is a digital resource that we can put into your hands today. Check our website for full details.
If you feel hopeless, or you’re worried about a loved one, please reach out. It’s not wise to try to walk this journey on your own. We have a team of caring Christian counselors who will listen to your story and pray with you. Call Focus on the Family at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) for a free consultation. Leave your name and number, and they’ll get back with you as soon as possible.
Dr. Jantz’s book So Much to Live For: How to Provide Help and Hope to Someone Considering Suicide is available for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website.