Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Doing Something vs Doing Something Effective About Suicide

We all want to know that what we do is effective, right?
What can we effectively do about suicide? 
We can vote for politicians to “do the right thing” which normally means that THEY vote to spend more of OUR money … in the War on Poverty, or the War on Drugs, or government education … or suicide… 
We can learn the skills to intervene when someone we encounter seems to be at risk for hurting themselves or taking their own life. 
We can give to a charity that “does something” about humanitarian issues like suicide in hopes that we’ve picked the best organization that will make the biggest difference with our money… 
We can re-learn the interpersonal skills that give us authentic human connections with our family and friends and co-workers – connections that can intervene when the stresses of daily life grip us. 
We can assume that “something is being done” by behavioral health care professionals and try to ignore the fact that more people are taking their own lives today than ever before…
We can take a realistic, reasoned and educated look at our own communities and the organizations in them to learn which initiatives REALLY reduce suicide and why, then begin to replicate those efforts.
It is no longer enough to assume that “something is being done” about suicide when so much effort and money has already been spent without results. It’s no longer enough to assume that our favorite humanitarian organizations are able to get out in front of suicide. And it’s certainly high time we understood that government is NOT about doing what it right because government, while it is good at making and enforcing laws, has a decades-long expensive track record of failure at effectively getting out in front on humanitarian issues.
If you have a friend or family member who’s depressed, stressed and anxious, what are you doing to intervene? Is it working? If not, there are resources available to you – such as The QPR Institute and Mental Health First Aid – that will help you be more effective. If so, teach your family and friends how to do what you do.
That would be doing something effective…for a change.

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