Tough Issues
Straight Talk About Suicide
September 8, 2014
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It is Spring, a time of hope and new life. But this is not the case for many. Here in Aspen it is the off season and it can be a very tough emotional time. I would like to share some straight talk about suicide and practical ways to help those who are struggling. Aspen CO is a beautiful place that has four very distinct seasons that help make it a world class resort destination, but also affect the emotional vibe of those who live here. There are the emotional highs of the high season, but for some there are emotional lows of the off season. Many find themselves directionless and disconnected. For all the beauty and great things this valley has to offer people, there are many people who struggle with destructive emotional thoughts.
     

HELP:
National Hotline: 1-800-suicide
24/7 online crisis center www.IMAlive.org.
Aspen HOPEline 970-925-5858
Crossroads Church 24/7 Hotline: Roy Holloway, 970-379-3122
(Thank you Roy! You are a loving warrior.)
Crossroads Church Office: 970-925-7828
 
 FACTS:
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 25-34 year olds
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students
Every year almost one million people attempt suicide
Every 17 minutes someone commits suicide
Suicide rates have increased 30% in 10 years
Suicide in 2012 overtook car accidents as America’s leading cause of injury-related death
(Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S National Center for Health Statistics)
     
WARNING SIGNS:
Experiencing the blues is normal, but dangerous if consistent
Feeling really alone
Feeling like you cant talk with anyone
Feeling like you are a burden to people
Feeling like no one cares about you or loves you
 Feeling hopeless and purposeless
 Feeling like you have no reason to live
Numbing the pain with drugs and alcohol
Moving away from people
Feeling like you want to die
Contemplate killing yourself
   
REAL HOPE:
Finally, I want to encourage you with some real eternal hope. I believe what Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arm says about people who are struggling with destructive emotions is right on: “I think the heart of it is, they’re trying to be known, because we were made to be known.”
   
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus makes clear that we have a real enemy of our soul. But, He also makes clear that He has come to destroy the work of the devil and bring freedom and healing. Jesus came to reveal the heart of the Father to us and pour out the Holy Spirit within us. It is the Holy Spirit who testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. God loves us and desires to know us and make Himself known to us. Always remember, “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” What are some practical spiritual steps that can be taken if we are struggling with destructive emotions:
   
1.) Let someone else know about your struggle asap
2.) Recognize you are in a spiritual battle and seek spiritual help
3.) Is Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life? Talk with someone
4.) Find someone to pray God’s promises over your life regularly
5.) Find someone to help you learn how to pray and worship
6.) Talk to someone at your church about healing and deliverance
7.) Seek medical help if needed
5

About author

Stephen Woodrow

Steve is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Aspen Colorado. He is married to Meshell and they have 5 wonderful kids.

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