Why would anyone want to end his/her own life?
We automatically flinch when a gnat haplessly flies into our eye. Our eyes well with tears and we cry out in pain when we accidentally step on a nail. Human beings do not naturally desire to be hurt, whether it be physically, emotionally or psychologically. We avoid pain. We often avoid the subject of death. Some try to explain away the reality of hell. So, why would anyone want to end their own life? The lady who jumped from the third level of the O.co Coliseum (Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum) following a Raider’s game had a reason. Why?
This lady joined nearly 30,000 Americans who each year consciously choose to by-pass the pain of life by ending it all. An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. Homicide is 15th. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15–to–24–year-old Americans. There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS. Substance abuse is a risk factor for suicide, but the strongest risk factor is depression. Of the people who seek treatment for depression, 80% are treated successfully. Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness. Unfortunately, many who attempt suicide never seek professional care. (http://www.save.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id=705d5df4-055b-f1ec-3f66462866fcb4e6)
The purpose of this lesson is not necessarily to determine the rightness or wrongness of committing suicide. All should agree that it is a tragedy when a person comes to the decision that they want to end their own life. The news item we will consider today will hopefully help us to understand what brings people to the point of suicide, how to help people who are in this situation recognize the value of their own life, and to respond with compassion rather than condemnation.