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We should stay keenly aware and conscious that today and all of its wonderful elements are gifts. Today was gifted to us regardless of our circumstances and we can choose to embrace it with kindness towards others or we can let today pass by without thought of those who are suffering and who may even dread the day.

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, an event designed to increase awareness of the suicide crisis in our society and the need to stay on alert for signs among family and friends.  In addition, the U.S. military’s “Be There” campaign is a month-long effort to spotlight and heighten awareness and understanding of veteran suicide. The campaign highlights the risk factors and warning signs leading to suicide. In our various communities across this great nation, everyone is in a position to make a difference to someone who might be at risk for suicide.

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in suicide deaths among teenagers and veterans.  A person in acute risk for suicidal behavior most often will show warning signs by threatening to hurt or kill themselves, talking about killing themselves, looking for ways to commit suicide by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means, and /or talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.

These warning signs are not always visible or easy to recognize in human behavior.  Also, a common misconception is that you need special training to talk safely about suicide risks or to show concern for someone who is in distress. Sometimes one simple act of kindness makes a big difference and could help save a life. I encourage everyone this September and beyond to take the first step in becoming someone’s support system.

And remember that God goes before us as well and into the day with us. No matter where we venture He has already been there and is there watching over us. I cannot express to you enough how keenly aware God is of our every movement and intentions. Nothing can take the Creator of all that exists by surprise. Know that He will not allow circumstances to overwhelm us so long as we look to Him in our time of need. So Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten