Suicide Prevention – Constant Vigilance and Ongoing Education
My heart and thoughts go out to all the people who have lost a loved one to suicide! Whenever someone in the public eye dies unexpectedly of apparent suicide (like O. J. Murdock and others), it opens up difficult dialogue. As a Caregiver and partner, this is one aspect of my husband’s illness that is very scarey! It just reminds me of the need for constant vigilance and on-going education.
My husband has been a mental health advocate for many years now. His advocacy started in Sarasota, Florida after suffering a major Bipolar episode leading to a suicide attempt and then hospitalization. He has talked about it many times, yet it still scares me.
I love my husband, but only recently — in the past few years — have I started to better understand his suicide attempts and the suicide ideation as symptoms of his illness. It’s not some personal weakness or lack of courage in dealing with life. The fact is that during our 20 years of marriage, he has been one the most courageous men I know! He has faced many adversities; far more than he has ever written about.
If you follow his blog, mentalhealthhumor.com, you can pick up on some of his trials in many of the cartoons he draws. Despite it all, Chato Stewart always tries to look for humor to cope with his issues!
How does your loved one cope with his/her issues?! Does humor, art, journaling, or support groups help your loved one? Do you find certain symptoms like suicide ideation scarey? Do you talk in-depth with your partner about suicide symptoms? Keeping communication open is critical to preserving life!