Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Intervention and a New Identity

Kids who entertain passing thoughts of suicide have two over-arching needs. First they need immediate, potentially life-saving intervention to neutralize their self-destructive thoughts and the circumstances that provoke them. If you suspect that a hurting friend is having suicidal thoughts, your first response is to meet his or her immediate needs for relationship, comfort, support and encouragement. These elements should be supplied as soon as possible.

A second over-arching need is for a new perspective of identity. People who consider suicide have a very low view of their value and worth. They may consider themselves a waste of space on the planet. No wonder they are tempted by suicidal thoughts. They do not consider their life worth salvaging. They lack a sense of belonging, worthiness, and competence.

Once you have begun to address your friend's primary need for relationship, comfort, support and encouragement, make plans to deal with the second need. Help your friend to see himself or herself through God's eyes. Take your friend to a Bible study that emphasizes that God sees us as lovable, valuable, and useful. Your friend must understand the biblical message of how God sees us so that he or she can begin to see himself or herself that way.

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