I am at a 2-day training. “CBT for Suicide Prevention”
First of all. I should note I am bad at trainings, conferences, workshops, symposiums (I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been to a symposium, but I’m sure I would hate it). I hate them. I am that ADD 6-year-old boy in school wiggling in his seat, bugging people next to him, playing with anything he can get his hands on, getting up to “use the bathroom” over and over, etc. Think I’m kidding?
So yeah, I look miserable and like I am not paying attention, but I actually am taking it all in; which was the original point of this blog before I got immediately sidetracked.
If I ask you if you have ever thought about killing yourself, have I suddenly put the idea of killing yourself in your mind? Have you read this and now are suddenly thinking, “Shit! I never thought of that idea! You know what? Imma kill me today! OMG TYSM!” No. You aren’t. Yet we don’t ever ask the question even though suicide is one of our country’s leading causes of death. Every time we hear of a suicide, we hear things like, “We had no idea.” “He never said a word.” “She seemed fine.” “She seemed happier than ever!”
When the presenter was talking about this, I parallelled it in my mind with people who don’t want sex education in schools because then kids will want to have sex. Then I thought to myself, “What a great analogy to use with people! Just like sex education at schools doesn’t cause kids to fuck, asking someone if they have ever thought about suicide won’t cause them to shoot themselves!”
Then I remembered we are living in the Handmaid’s tale era and there are still a large majority of people who still think sex education causes sex.
Moral of the story: Ask the question even if it feels weird. You could save someone’s life.
Take it from someone who knows… I Jumped Off The Golden Gate Bridge