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Suicide Threats Must Be Taken Seriously

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: My daughter goes to college full time and works full time, so she is very busy.

When she was in high school, she knew at least four people who committed suicide. She, of course, doesn't want it to happen again. She has a current friend who threatens it now often, maybe even nightly. The friend was recently committed to a facility to help her, and she was released after treatment, but from my point of view, the hospital stay did not work.

I can tell my daughter day in and day out that her friend will keep threatening to commit suicide because she likes the attention. My daughter will drop everything to help this person and to listen to her, but it is to my kid's detriment.

My daughter needs to work on her school or get more sleep or eat a full dinner. I want my daughter to be sweet, of course, and loving, but she needs to take care of herself, too.

Do you have any ideas for how to get out of a cycle of a friend saying she is going to commit suicide? What resources are out there for the kids who want to help the kids who get attention by saying they want to kill themselves or who really do want to kill themselves? Thanks. -- Mom of a Great Kid

Dear Mom of a Great Kid: Congratulations on being the mom of a great kid -- you should be genuinely proud of that fact -- but don't forget there is another mom nearby whose daughter is really hurting. Your daughter should encourage her friend to seek professional help again, and you should never, ever take her friend's threats as a call for attention.

Your daughter should speak with a professional immediately to seek advice for her friend. She could also call the girl's parents and let them know what is going on. I cannot emphasize enough that threatening suicide is extremely serious and should never be taken lightly. You can also direct her to this website and phone number: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Feeling Powerless." Coping with life involves taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. I try to remember all three by 1: Getting outside as much as possible for fresh air, sunshine and gentle exercise like walking or biking; 2: Limiting my exposure to news outlets by accessing them only once or twice each day; 3: Prayer. Nonreligious friends practice meditation. Whatever you find helps reduce stress is perfect for you. -- Keeping It Real but Calm in New Orleans

 

Dear Keeping It Real: Thank you for this great advice.

Dear Annie: "Feeling Powerless" is grappling with discouraging world events, same as perhaps 75% of the U.S. population.

My husband passed away three months before the start of COVID-19. With all that has happened, I have depended on my faith to get me through. I have also taken the opportunity to nourish friendships and to exercise regularly. Exercise does a lot to help me stay positive and focused.

Finally, I limit the amount of news reports and focus on reading and listening to things that have a positive focus. -- Looking Up

Dear Looking Up: I'm so sorry for your loss. Friendship, exercise and faith are all healthy and effective ways to cope.

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"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

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