Sunday, September 24, 2023

World Suicide Prevention Day: Jehovah’s Witnesses offer coping strategies on suicidal thoughts

“There are people who care about you and who want to help. These might include friends and family members who won’t know what you’re going through unless you tell them.”

• September 11, 2023
Suicide rope
Suicide illustrated

How to cope with suicidal thoughts

World Suicide Prevention Day nears as many focus on resources and messages of awareness, prevention, and hope

Lagos—Research by the National Library of Medicine notes that “suicide and suicidal behavior in the Nigerian population seem to peak in young adult life.” In recent times, there has been a rise in the number of attempted or actual suicide in Lagos and other parts of the country. 

As World Suicide Prevention Day approaches on September 10, there is increased focus on suicide prevention and the practical ways to help people who may be enduring difficult times. 

JW.ORG—the world’s most translated website—offers articles that focus on comfort, hope, and practical advice from the Bible. The article, “I Want to Die—Can the Bible Help Me When I Have Suicidal Thoughts?” provides some tips for those who are having suicidal thoughts:

Express your feelings

Get professional help

Remember that God cares

Pray to God

Meditate on the Bible’s hope for the future

Do something you enjoy

Take care of your physical health

Remember that feelings and other things in life change

“Although a number of persons face challenges and may commit or attempt to commit suicide, often we only hear the news of highly profiled individuals when they are affected,” Olukayode Akin-Bamidele, a regional spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses, said. “The Bible provides comforting thoughts for all sorts of persons who may feel hopeless or who are struggling. We hope some of the Bible-based articles on may provide a measure of soothing relief for those who are suffering.”

The same article quoted above, “I Want to Die—Can the Bible Help Me When I Have Suicidal Thoughts?” also highlights Bible verses that show God cares about each person including those with suicidal thoughts:

– “Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.”—Psalm 34:18.

– “Throw all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.

– “When anxieties overwhelmed me, you comforted and soothed me.”—Psalm 94:19.

The article provides suggestions for those who may know a friend who is having suicidal thoughts. These include listening empathetically, urging a friend to get help, and showing love. 

“If your friend had a serious physical illness, you would encourage him to see a doctor,” the article states. “Suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of mental or emotional illness, so urge him to seek professional help. Even offer to go with him.”

The article “What if I Don’t Want to Live Anymore?” aims to help young people. It encourages young people to talk to someone about their feelings. “There are people who care about you and who want to help. These might include friends and family members who won’t know what you’re going through unless you tell them,” the article states.

Another series on entitled “Is Life Worth Living?” addresses how to cope with traumatic  events, such as when a disaster strikes, when a loved one dies and when facing a serious illness. A highlight in the series is the article “Why Life IS Worth Living,” which emphasizes four points:

– God does care about you 

– Your life is worth living

– Your life has meaning

– There is hope for a better future

For more information, please visit

    Olukayode Akin-Bamidele  

    Regional Spokesman 

    Lagos – Nigeria. 

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