In 2020, Weld County lost 55 lives to suicide.
Most of us would agree that one of the hardest things about seeing someone struggle is our desire to fix the problem. However, the data tells us that people in crisis do not need someone to fix their problems. They need a safe space to feel their feelings; a place where they can tell their story and share their pain.
We asked thousands of people to share their definition of a trusted person/adult.
Here’s what we learned.
A trusted person/adult is someone who:
- Won't judge me for what I am experiencing.
- Won't compare my pain to theirs or others or try to "one up me."
- Isn’t going to "freak out" if I say I've had thoughts of suicide.
- Won't tell me to "suck it up."
- Gives me hope.
Apart from connecting a person directly to care, listening and giving hope are two of the best things someone can do for a person in crisis. But what does “listening and giving hope” actually look like?
- I will help you get connected to care
- I know where to go for help
- I know people can heal from emotional pain
- Everything will be fine. (Dismissive)
- It’ll all work out, don’t worry. (Toxic positivity)
- Don’t you know how much we love you? (Guilt)
We can challenge stigma by releasing shameful feelings around mental health.
Doing this will make us more comfortable talking about mental health and show others that we are a trusted person to turn to when someone feels isolated or hopeless. One of the most important protective factors from suicide is having a trusted person (or for teens, a trusted adult) to confide in.
North Range’s Suicide Education and Support Services (SESS) program provides resources and community education to prevent suicide and offers support to those who have lost someone to suicide. To learn more, visit NorthRange.org/SESS.