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Choose Life!

The holiday season, for a lot of people can bring on feelings of loneliness, despair, and hopelessness. Those feelings can rush in like a flood if left unchecked. And amid a pandemic those feelings can become even more amplified in our lives. Let’s face it we are creatures of habit and when something comes along that takes us out of the norm or our comfort zone it becomes quite difficult to deal with especially if it goes on for an extended period of time. So many cannot cope, and they choose to end their lives. I believe that God wants us to live our lives to the fullest. I believe that Jesus came that we would live life abundantly and that we are to choose to do that with the tenacity of a bulldog holding on to a tee-bone steak! But, for some no matter how hard they try they cannot seem to turn off the voices that speak in their minds, “There is no hope, all hope is lost, they would be better off without you, your life means nothing, you are nothing” and the list goes on and on. Thoughts of suicide are a serious matter and nothing to be ashamed of. I found the following statistics staggering when I looked them up:

· Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)

· Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

· There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)

· Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)

· Suicide takes the lives of over 48,300 Americans every year. (CDC)

· The highest suicide rates in the US are among Whites, American Indians, and Alaska Natives.

· Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

· 80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS study)

· An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).

· There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)

· There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

I encourage you that if you are depressed, please do not isolate yourself and please talk to someone. You are loved, you are important, and your life is worth living! Please choose life!

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline fields calls 24/7 for anyone with suicidal thoughts or who are in crisis. They offer help for Spanish-speakers and anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Their website also offers many resources to get help for yourself or someone you know.

Crisis Text Line -- Text Hello to 741741

Crisis Text Line fields messages about suicidal thoughts, abuse, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, bullying and more. What makes it unique is that it's entirely text-based, which makes it easy for anyone who doesn't feel comfortable or safe talking on the phone to use it.

You can text 741741 in the US or UK (686868 in Canada), or message Crisis Text Line on Facebook for help. You'll be matched with a volunteer counselor, who is supervised by a licensed, trained mental health professional.

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