#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Understanding How To Talk To Someone Who Is Considering Suicide


The annual Suicide Prevention Symposium features National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Night Friends & Family Event on Sept. 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

By Heather Loeb

Four years ago I was suicidal. Not just once or twice but continuously, and my doctor prescribed new medications, but nothing worked. He said I was treatment resistant, and I thought there was no hope. He gave up on me, I felt. I was close to giving up on everything. I’m telling you this because September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

My brain told me that I needed to die. That nobody loved me, that I was worth nothing. I heard it so much that it was difficult to decipher what was real. But I didn’t want to die. Even so, living with this depression was painful — the worst pain I’d ever felt, not to mention overwhelming and scary. I just wanted the hurt to end. I’d have moments of clarity, remembering that I needed to fight for my young children, husband, family and friends. Luckily, I found an inpatient program that had a bed available.

I stayed six weeks, and with medication changes and electroconvulsive therapy, I was no longer suicidal. Now I’m in recovery, but at times I still experience suicidal thoughts. If I my medication or hormones change, I’m at risk. It doesn’t take much, but I feel better equipped to handle those episodes thanks to coping skills and support system.

Others aren’t so lucky.

#James Donaldson notes:
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.
Find out more about the work I do on my 501c3 non-profit foundation
website www.yourgiftoflife.org Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,
#CelebratingYourGiftofLife: From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy



Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people 10-14; it’s the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Suicide was responsible for more than 48,000 deaths in 2021, which is about one death every 11 minutes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As I previously reported, teen girls are experiencing record-high levels of sadness and suicide risk, and 1 in 3 teen girls seriously considered attempting suicide. Both rates increased dramatically over the past decade, the CDC reported.

Just a few weeks ago I was told that there were several suicide attempts by children who were seen at a local hospital. This is a widespread problem and obviously in our own community.

A lot of people don’t speak up when they’re suicidal because of the stigma attached — they may be scared they won’t be taken seriously or accused of being dramatic. It’s important to listen without judgment if someone reaches out to you. In my opinion, it’s crucial to not to guilt trip someone by saying suicide is selfish or immoral. I don’t think it’s selfish. In my case, it was about ending the debilitating pain, not ending my life. It’s hard to see the light in all that darkness.

The tragedy is that suicide is a permanent solution to a mostly temporary problem, and a lot of people can’t see that — especially children and teens. It can take stress, disappointment, loss or just a bad day for kids to make the wrong decision. Unfortunately, there aren’t always warning signs. That’s why we need to speak openly about suicide, even with our kids. Especially with them.

There’s too much at stake not to.

It’s difficult to comprehend if you’ve never had suicidal thoughts, but trust me, you don’t want to. Know that you can help by being supportive and understanding. Tell her that she’s needed and loved. That it gets better.

And that her story isn’t finished yet, and you want to be a part of it. 

-If someone is in crisis, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or call 911. You also can go to the nearest ER if someone is immediate danger of hurting themselves.