Choose to Stay - Suicide Prevention

National Suicidal Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Growing up, I had always believed suicide rates increased significantly during the holiday season. It does make a lot of sense. This is a time of year where a lot of families struggle financially trying to provide a Christmas full of gifts and toys hoping to exceed the dreams of their children. However, the same family might also be struggling to keep the heat on.

Loneliness, depression, experiencing the holidays alone after a loved one passes away. All of these reasons make this time of year stressful and overwhelming. However, as I wrote this blog, I was surprised to find out I have been wrong about suicide all these years.

The Center for Disease Controls and Prevention reports that the suicide rate is, in fact, the lowest in December (MIND-BLOWING). The suicidal rate actually peaks in the spring and the fall. This pattern has not changed in recent years. The holiday suicide myth supports misinformation about suicide that might ultimately hamper prevention efforts.

I felt strongly today at church (actually sitting in Primary holding my youngest child) to raise awareness regarding this saddening epidemic. Suicide remains a major public health problem, one that occurs throughout the entire year. Yes, there are suicides that happen during the holidays for the reasons mentioned above, however it occurs year around.

So how can you help? We can all prevent suicide.  “Choosing to” understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health. “Choosing to” talk about suicide with family and friends. “Choosing to” love and support those with mental health challenges. “Choosing to” minister those who are alone, depressed or anxious.

Now what if you are the individual struggling with suicidal thoughts? As this video illustrates, you are loved whether you feel it or not. Heavenly Father is closer than you might believe. You are stronger than you might believe and you have the power to “choose to” stay. “Choose to” get help. “Choose to” speak up. “Choose to” trust those that love you. “Choose to” pray. “Choose to” love yourself even when you don’t feel worthy.

If you feel you need help call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

As Elder Holland said so beautifully “Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

Choose to Stay!

With love,

Paul Billings


Be You Bands

#CTR #ChooseToStay #BeYou

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