By Allison Franck, LMSW, LCSW, LICSW, CAADC, Licensed Master’s Social Worker, Christian Family Solutions
Thanks for asking this question. It can be scary having these thoughts and not be sure what to do with them.
Many people experience suicidal thoughts sometime in their life. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 11% of people ages 18-25 have had serious thoughts about suicide and 20% of high schoolers have had serious suicidal thoughts at some time in their life.
Not everyone who has suicidal thoughts is hospitalized. There are a number of factors that professionals look at when deciding if a person should be in the hospital, not just the fact that you are having the thoughts. The most important thing professionals look at is are you safe? If the professional can determine that you are indeed safe, they can refer you to a counselor or other help and develop a safety plan to use if the thoughts get more intense.
It’s important that you share with someone you trust that you are having these thoughts. These thoughts are a lot to handle on your own. Telling someone such as a parent, teacher, pastor, relative, or counselor can help you feel supported and together you can decide what the next step will be. The important thing is that you do tell someone.
In addition to telling someone, there are a few things you can do to distract yourself so you do not focus on negative thoughts.
Going for a walk
Being around other people
Listen to music
These distractions can help reduce the negative thoughts and add pleasant emotions.
Christians have the added comfort of combatting loneliness with the certainty that God is always with us, even when things seem dark. There is no problem that is too big for God. In the Bible, God tells us, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). God cares and loves you so much that He sent his son to die for you, just so that you can be with him in heaven someday. This is how special and important you are to God.
You are not alone. You are very loved. God is providing for you when he gives you people in your life who will listen to your thoughts.
If you are not sure that you can keep yourself safe, call 911 or go the nearest emergency room.
Remember, you are not alone.
These answers aren’t comprehensive … They are a start. If you or someone you know needs counseling please call Christian Family Solutions Counseling Care & Services at 800-438-1772.
If you are experiencing a health emergency of any kind, please dial 911.
If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.