What am I to do when a person I know mentions they almost committed suicide last week? I don’t know all that many people, perhaps two hundred that I speak to casually in passing, but last year I lost two people to suicide that I have conversed with at some length. One of the suicides was almost expected and the other was a total surprise; and now this. This person is in two groups of about fifteen people that I meet with every week, so a voluntary departure would be devastating.
Several of my friends are professional helpers — personal life coaches, ministers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. — so I will be bringing up this topic this week with them. I did so last week at yet a totally separate group, but rather emphatically, no one wanted to pursue it. To me personal self-destruction is really unacceptable unless you have two separate doctors say you are about to die and will live out your few remaining days in great pain. Here in Oregon that option is legally available, but the three people mentioned above wouldn’t come close to being accepted by that criterion.
I will turn to others for help on this issue. It’s rather like the question of trustworthiness of information level 14, where I consider the opinions of a group of people, with skin in the game and of differing backgrounds, to be more reliable than my own personal observation.
Sometimes I trust other people’s opinions more than my own.