How are we supposed to help someone who has suicidal thoughts? Suicidal thoughts are far more common than you might think. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. In 2019 it claimed the lives of over 47,500 Americans (CDC).
The good news is that suicide is preventable. You can be a part of a group who knows how to help those are struggling with suicidal thoughts. With a little training anyone can save a life. Join us on this week of Beyond The Lines as we talk with suicide prevention expert Mark Faul and how you can provide the life-saving conversation someone needs.
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[00:00:00] DJ Heyward: Welcome to the Beyond The Lines podcast. I'm in a world where it's so divisive. We live in a world that is not unified at all. And we what to create a space, we want to create an environment. We want to have conversations that love beyond the line. So here's what we do in my personal lives. Um, in our, you know, social media lives, whatever that is, we draw lines in the sand.
[00:00:20] We say, we can't love you past that line. We don't wanna talk to you past that line. We can't respect you past that line. And we don't even want to listen to passed that line and we want to be a place where we can listen to one another, even if we disagree, even if we don't understand where each other are coming from.
[00:00:34] So today we have a special guest. Uh, that is Mark Faul. Thank you so much for being with us. Um, I'm DJ, and this is, uh, Jonathan and we are so excited to just have a conversation today with Mark. He is an expert on, uh, suicide prevention and mental health and mental. Uh, building a mental health awareness and all that kind of stuff.
[00:00:57] So we just want to have a chat with them about what does it mean to love beyond the lines? Um, what does it mean to love people who are struggling and how do we as believers? How does we have friends? Um, most importantly, come alongside those, um, who are struggling. So thank you so much.
[00:01:10] Mark Faul: Oh, it's awesome to be here.
[00:01:12] Thanks for the introduction. Yeah. Appreciate it. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:01:14] Jon Miller: It's so cool to have you, um, I've actually taken a class with you, like a two day course. I think it was called the Assist program. Yeah. All about suicide prevention and the week that this is going to release this suicide prevention and awareness week. Um, and whenever it really says it it's that week.
[00:01:35] So if it's just releasing in that week, it's happening. So, um, we really want to talk to you, you about this thing called suicide prevention and, and talk about how, better help people who are dealing with those thoughts and help them get out of the shame and just walk alongside them. Um, and just start removing that stigma, because I think there's a lot of fear that surrounds you.
[00:01:58] People who aren't dealing with those, those thoughts, but approaching somebody who they think might be, uh,
[00:02:04] dealing with those thoughts..
[00:02:05] Mark Faul: There's a lot of stigma around it and it's really, um, it, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. I mean, it's, it's just sometimes we're, it's one of those phobic topics where we're just like, ah, do I bring this up?
[00:02:18] Sometimes we may have a, uh, Maybe we're feeling it ourselves, or we have somebody that we might know who, who we're thinking. They're just not acting like they normally do. And something's not quite right, but I can't put my finger on it. And so we need to ask some questions about that. But one of the cool things is when it comes to suicide prevention, a lot of people often provide what we call invitations when it comes to suicide, people are often
[00:02:46] saying I need some help, but they may not know how to express that. Um, one of the foundations, when it comes to suicide prevention is that we go into the premise of people really don't want to die. God created us. Leaving this earth, usually isn't something that we're often just charging towards. So, um, people really don't want to die, but often maybe life circumstances, whatever that may be, may just be hitting them so hard.
[00:03:13] They just like, they've tried everything and it's just a really painful to live. And that's the only way out that they can see. And. Um, people often send like invitations out. Like I mentioned before, we, we do this illustration of, of kinda like the river of life. I don't know if you remember it from when you were there in the, in the train that we did, but, but we talk about the river life and I don't know if anybody's, if you've ever had, um, the, the, the experience of, of maybe drowning or just possibly drowning in water.
[00:03:44] I know for me, I'm not the best swimmer. If I can't touch the ground or touch the edge of the pool within two strokes, that ain't for me, I'm not going to do that, but, um, but drowning is just a horrible, horrible experience if you've ever had that. And, and most people who are in that drowning experience, they, don't just kind of, okay, well, I guess I'm going to drown.
[00:04:04] Most likely they're doing a couple of key things. They're yelling, they're screaming, they're reaching out. They're trying to. Uh, a breath of air and suicide you put that metaphor into suicide, it fits perfectly where we have people, people who are just life is just rocking them big time and, and they're floating down this river of life and they're just going to somebody just help me, somebody give me, give me a minute just to take a breath.
[00:04:31] And, and so that's where we can notice what those things are. And we can notice that, Hey, this person's really struggling. Um, and um, people sending those invitations, for example, some actions that they may be doing that, um, they may not do in a normal situation. And again, it depends on the relationship that you have with the person, but, um, Um, if you know somebody really well, you know, the personality and something has happened, maybe a life event that's that's occurred where they're like, wow, that that must have been really tough or often it's some sort of a loss, um, people will, if they're thinking about ending life they'll that that could be an indicator that he may be something.
[00:05:15] Is going on, maybe something is not quite right. So their actions will be a little bit different. Like, um, they may not be the life of the party and they always were, they may be acting, maybe depressed. They may go into isolation, like what's going on, withdrawing from people. Um, they may be talking about feelings that, that, that they'd never had before.
[00:05:33] Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, feeling depressed, things of that nature. Um, and those could all be just little indications. Like, Hey, what's going on? And hopefully we're aware to, to, to identify those and then maybe ask some questions.
[00:05:46] Jon Miller: Yeah. And my first thought is let's move away from before we jump into, like, what's the proper thing to do when we see that happening, what is usually what we do, like normal, like people who aren't dealing with when we see somebody struggling that, what, what have you found.
[00:06:02] Most people do when they see that
[00:06:05] Mark Faul: It depends. Yeah. Good question. It depends what the situation might be, but often we, we tend to avoid it. We tend to walk away. We're often we'll, we'll just ignore it because I don't know what to do. What if I do ask them about suicide or something and they say yes.
[00:06:20] And I'm like, oh my gosh. Now what? And which is the cool thing about suicide prevention. We don't have to know what to do. We just have to open up our ears and listen for a while. That's the key. So yeah, it's, it's, it can be, it is a courageous thing to ask a question about suicide. Um, often it's the elephant in the room at times.
[00:06:40] Um, I don't know. No, I always, I often use the illustration of, of, you know, when you come home to a family dinner and your kids come home from school. No. Yeah. As a parent, you may ask your kids. So what'd you learn today? What w w what do we need to talk about today? It's it's and it's often like, Hey mom, dad, we want to talk about suicide.
[00:06:57] This will be great. What a great topic that just doesn't happen. So we tend to avoid it. Um, also depending on what generation you grew up in. You guys are young. I'm the old guy here. So in my generation we didn't talk about suicide. It just, it just didn't happen. Um, uh, that was kind of avoided and stuff.
[00:07:18] So, um, the younger generation, obviously it's mental health is in the news all the time now. So it's becoming more and more acceptable to talk about. And the shame is going is slowly reducing.
[00:07:28] DJ Heyward: Yeah. But
[00:07:29] why do you think that is? Why do you think that, you know, former generations seem like they didn't struggle as much as.
[00:07:36] It people today
[00:07:37] Mark Faul: Often say you're also a product of your environment. It depends on how you were, where you grew up in, in, in your home. A lot of it comes from maybe some religious beliefs in things, um, where suicide could be seen as a, as a, as a, as a sin. Um, you just don't do that. You don't talk about that.
[00:07:57] Um, it's also with part of the unknown, weren't quite too familiar with that. Yeah. Well, what to do with that and back in the day. Um, and so, yeah, th and there's a stigma over it. Of course there's some shame involved for some people. So, um, yeah, it, it, it, it can be a tough topic and you stop and look at it.
[00:08:19] It can be a life and death situation. So that, that really makes people anxious about that, which is totally understandable.
[00:08:25] DJ Heyward: Yeah. Yeah. And one of the things, you know, I used to work with college students at a former job in, um, I deal with a lot of suicidal ideations and talking with, uh, students that way. And a lot of them that how we would find out find out was, uh, through the roommates and their friends.
[00:08:43] And, um, a lot of the times they're roommates or friends will be act like really scared, um, about, you know, either, either telling either telling someone or really scared about what the person is going through. How do you speak to someone when they're feeling that fear, uh, for another person.
[00:09:02] Mark Faul: One of the things that we find can be comforting is that you don't have to fix the problem.
[00:09:10] You don't, it's good because it's suicide. You're not gonna fix the problem. Um, if you could, if we would call it a crisis and we could quickly put that crisis in a, in a little box and we could fix it. Suicide often is a much. Often a much bigger problem or struggle. And so, um, but for someone who identifies that from somebody, uh, from, uh, uh, a friend, a roommate or a family member or something, um, and just that hesitation to even bring up the topic it's normal.
[00:09:43] Um, but the cool thing is you don't have to fix it. All you have to do is not all you have to. The big thing you need to do is to allow them to, to express the pain that they're going through. Right. And we just have to listen and create that opportunity for them to, to, to vent and to express what's going on.
[00:10:02] Cause obviously there's most likely some sort of pain going on, some sort of loss in their life and maybe no one's ever given them the chance to express that. Um, I was doing some training while back with some of the. Uh, the prayer partners here at Central and, um, and just, it, it realized it dawned on me how beneficial the prayer partners are.
[00:10:24] Not just for prayer, because anybody could drop to our knees and pray to God. We've got an instant connection with them. That's that? Which is so reassuring. But when people can go down to the front, after a service and verbally express, this is what I need prayer for. And it could be a praise, which is awesome.
[00:10:42] But often it's like, I got this life issue that's going on. And just being able to express that can be just the beginning of some incredible healing. And, and I don't know if we give our prayer partners enough credit, they're listening to some stuff. And, and, and just being there and being kind of keeping their mouth shut and listening is just the beginning of, of, of healing for someone who might be thinking of ending their life.
[00:11:08] Jon Miller: Yeah. And a
[00:11:09] little context for the people listening, who might not know this. We do at Central, at the church. After every weekend service, we have people who will stand up by the stage and pray for people. And often that's a question that, that, that the prayer partners will have. Uh, some people will be really struggling, maybe dealing with suicidal ideation.
[00:11:26] And so. Um, that's kind of what you're talking about there, right? Yeah. Just in case somebody is not from here, I've never heard of that. Um, I know the thing that you said earlier that I thought was really interesting. I hadn't thought about it ever before. It was like that suicide like considering suicide.
[00:11:40] Isn't a crisis. Can you go further into that? Cause I would've said, oh yeah. That's, that's definitely a crisis of some sort.
[00:11:47] Mark Faul: Hmm. Well,
[00:11:48] it can be, but if, and, but often we, we kind of look at crisis is often like. We can kind of define it as it's, it's, it's a one, one instant type of a thing. That's a bad way to explain it, but it's something that maybe can be fixed and say, okay, I'm hungry.
[00:12:07] That's a crisis for some people that could be somebody who may be homeless or somebody that that's, that's a crisis, but I can fix that. Here's some food I thought let's go to McDonald's. Let's go. Let's go get something. Often when it comes to, um, suicide, often people have kind of thought through all of their avenues in order to fix this.
[00:12:29] And nothing has been identified that this is what's going to fix it. And this hurts so much. I want to just end that feeling. I want to end that pain. Any of my life is a one way that I can see to do that.
[00:12:44] Jon Miller: That's the only fixed they can think of.
[00:12:45] Mark Faul: Yeah. At that
[00:12:46] time. Yeah. Yeah. And so often, as we know, as I mentioned, um, being able to verbalize that pain, that frustration whatever's going on can help just have the brain kind of piece some things through and just identify.
[00:13:02] Okay. Yeah. That's a horrible thing that happened and that really hurts. But as the more I talk about it, I can kind of see. Maybe there's there, there's some light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Um, and somebody who is thinking about ending their life. I mean, if, if you put yourself, we have to put ourselves in their perspective.
[00:13:19] Um, they're looking at the past, the last person who changed the past was Jesus. When he raised a key from or Lazarus from the dead kind of thing, otherwise we can't change our past. Often when we're in thinking about suicide, we're just looking at the past, going all my regrets, all the pain that's back there.
[00:13:39] It's, it's tough. It, it must be very difficult to look at all the time then when they also, um, isolate. So they're often very alone. I'm the only person who's, who's feeling this way, which is probably so untrue. Many people have feelings that they're going through. Um, Um, one of the cool things that about suicide prevention is we don't need to fix it, but we get the opportunity to, and I don't know if you remember this, but I give the illustration I'll spot of a person of a person.
[00:14:12] Um, who's thinking about ending their life in a pit in just this dark pit and they're all alone. There's nobody there. They're staring at the past or looking at death and that's it. And us as a helper, we're often want to just reach down to the pit and pull them out. Because that's what we want to do.
[00:14:28] It it's icky down there. I don't like it down there. I don't want to go down there. And so we wanted it, but one of the things, when it comes to suicide prevention is they're not the person who is thinking of any of their life. They're not thinking about the future. They're just stuck in the past. And so the best thing that we can do.
[00:14:46] Instead of trying to pull them out of the pit is a hop in that pit with them and just empathize with them and don't fix it. We're not going to fix it, but just empathize with them, put your arm around them and go, wow, you must be in so much pain. Can you tell me about the pain what's going on and allow them to verbalize that?
[00:15:06] Yeah. And just, wow, just sit with that. And it's scary. It's a very courageous thing to do. I mean, it, it, it's not always happy. It's often not happy. Right. But it's, if you have the courage to do that and just listen to them as you listen for the reasons for dying, I will guarantee that reasons for living will emerge.
[00:15:29] That is almost a promise.
[00:15:31] DJ Heyward: Yeah. What's an example of
[00:15:33] Mark Faul: So an example of, so you lost your job. I can't support my family. Oh my gosh. Well, we're broke. We don't have a savings account. We didn't, I don't know what to do. And I love my children so much. What you love your children so much. Kay. Maybe there's a reason for living.
[00:15:53] Maybe we shut down. Tell me about your children. You love them so much. And let's maybe there is a reason for living out. Yeah. But I hate my mom again. I don't, I don't have a job, but I love my coworkers and stuff. Going on your coworkers, talk about your coworkers and you said you love your job. What would you like doing about your job kind of thing?
[00:16:12] Oh, so maybe you're not quite convinced that ending your life at this point is what needs to happen. Maybe there's some other possibilities. Can we, can I help you explore those possibilities? And it could be as simple as, like I say, we go off, the premise of, of people don't want to die. If they could avoid it.
[00:16:34] So subconsciously sometimes our body does some stuff to, or, or our minds where working, talking, like maybe asking or talking to someone who is thinking of any of their life. And you're like, they're right to the point they say, and they say, I want to die. And just that one word, but that's a life word of, yeah.
[00:16:55] But finish that sentence for me. What, what is their, what, what, and, and help them explore that. And they've been, not often, they're not even realizing that they do it. They really aren't. They're just like, I didn't even know that. Yeah, well maybe there are some reasons for you to live it. Let's, let's talk about that and let them talk.
[00:17:14] You're not gonna. But you can sure. Listen, and that can be so
[00:17:19] DJ Heyward: And I think that's where a lot of the fear can come from feeling like, oh my friend, or, you know, this person I care about is struggling with this and I can't pull them out of the pit. Right. And all we have to do, basically what you're saying is, Hey, go down with them and just sit it, sit there and just listen, ask questions and listen.
[00:17:37] And I think, um, feeling like I don't have to know all the answers is it's pretty freeing for the, for the person kind of.
[00:17:45] Mark Faul: And
[00:17:45] it's, I, I dare say it's biblical. I mean, God created mankind. He's like, oh my gosh, you guys goofed up again. Are you kidding me? I guess I'm going to have to send down this guy called my son, Jesus Christ, and live with you guys and just be with you to experience what's going on.
[00:18:01] It's it's kind of a biblical concept. It, believe it or not. Right.
[00:18:04] Jon Miller: So, yeah. And so that's, I mean, I'm just thinking like, It's just that's, that's the theme of this podcast loving beyond our lines. And in this case, maybe it's not a ideological concept or, or like a war or something like that. But this is like, the line is our comfort zone where we don't want to step behind that line because Ooh, I have to go into the icky stuff and talk about the hard things and, oh man, your, your daughter died or something like that.
[00:18:28] That that's hard to hear. Like that's not comfortable. That's the line we like in our comfort, in our, in our selfishness, we just kind of stayed back here. Like maybe not thinking that we do actually care for that person, but it's just so hard. Um, and you're saying the first step is just, you know what, I'm going to take a step beyond that line and just listen to them.
[00:18:50] Mark Faul: Yeah. And
[00:18:51] just listen. Yeah. And yeah. And the step before that is to ask very clearly, you know of, Hey, let's not dance around this here. If are you thinking of suicide? Are you thinking of ending your life? Let's go right to the point. And if that's a gut feeling that we have, or they're expressing that we need to ask them very clearly and directly to begin with, because if that's the issue, that's what we're going to talk about.
[00:19:15] And again, most likely if you say that, and if you ask that question, somebody is actually thinking about ending their life. You will almost see a physical relief come over them of, of thank you for having the courage to ask me that question because maybe nobody else has, and that's what I've been thinking.
[00:19:33] Yeah. So thanks for having the courage to do that. And then we get the hop into the pit with them and, you know, tell me about that.
[00:19:39] DJ Heyward: You're basically saying if you, if you're talking to someone and counseling them about their friend, giving them some guidance and they came to you say, man, I think my friend is struggling with suicide.
[00:19:49] They're acting really weird. You would actually encourage them. Hey, like point blank, ask them. Ask them point blank. Are you struggling with suicidal thoughts or do you want to commit suicide or are you hurting yourself in any, any way and you, you would say that's actually the best way to go about it. Go right to the point.
[00:20:07] Yeah. Cause I think some people, and maybe you can talk to these group of people as well. That think, well, if I ask, what if I implant, that thought in their head and then therefore that, you know what I mean?
[00:20:18] Mark Faul: Great question comes up at every training that we do. No question about it here. It is again, but yeah.
[00:20:25] Um, behavioral health, the field that I work in is very evidence-based. Yeah. I mean, nothing happens unless you can prove it by a bunch of statistics and surveys and all this fun stuff. There is in the, in the history of suicide of statistics, there has never been any evidence that shows that if you were to bring up the idea or ask a question about suicide to somebody, who's not thinking it, it's not going to implant in their, in their head of, I never thought.
[00:20:58] That's an idea that's never, ever been, been shown. And it's actually been shown the opposite where it's actually more of a relief, whether they are thinking about it or not. Because even if they're not. They can just say they can say no, that's not there. And then we can go, okay, cool. What else is good?
[00:21:16] What else is going on here? Let's let's tell me more about what's what's up, but, um, but yeah, that's never, that's a common question and there's no evidence to prove it, if that at all. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:21:26] DJ Heyward: Good. Yeah. I mean, that definitely is, um, is a relief, like, yeah, cause again, we're going back to the freer part. I think we can fill ourselves up with.
[00:21:35] All this stuff in her head about why we shouldn't do it, or why should we, should we shouldn't confront our friend or whatever that is, and, um, caused us to not go beyond the line. So that's, that's really helpful. Yeah. It's really good. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:21:46] Jon Miller: Asking the question is probably one of the most loving things we can do for them.
[00:21:50] Cause it's like you said, it can bring about relief, like physical relief if they haven't considered it. Um, maybe even because there's a shamed for having thoughted in the first place. Um, and that they think you're just going to, so I probably how you ask the question is really important to you. You're not, you're not trying to, like, you're not thinking of doing suicide.
[00:22:08] Are you, are you like right,
[00:22:10] Mark Faul: right. Yeah. That you don't want to put that, that shame factor on. And yeah, we, we practiced that as well. You remembered something.
[00:22:16] Jon Miller: Yeah I remembered a few
[00:22:18] Mark Faul: I like it.
[00:22:20] Yeah. Yeah. You, you want to do it in a respectful, I am really concerned about you and even even saying the word hurt can be construed sometimes.
[00:22:29] Um, of, of, yeah, I know. I'm not going to hurt myself. But that's you asked, so I'm going to say no, but I'm going to go farther than that if I'm really thinking of any of my life. So we want to go, are you thinking of, of, of, of killing yourself of any of your life of, of suiciding and, um, and yeah, go right, right.
[00:22:45] To the point and not, and not doing it. You're not thinking of killing yourself. Are you and CA cause that can be kind of shameful and, and we want to give them as much to empower them as much as we, to be honest with us and say, Hey, I'm really concerned about you. So I'm going to ask this question point blank.
[00:22:59] Yeah. Um,
[00:23:01] Jon Miller: I was thinking of this to you while you're talking about the circumstance, maybe they lost their job and maybe one of their reasons for living as their kids. But I think a shameful way of then latching onto that is like, well, you wouldn't want to leave them without a father, would you like.
[00:23:16] Mark Faul: Throw the guilt on.
[00:23:17] Jon Miller: Man.
[00:23:17] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You gotta be careful just that you're coming from a place of you want to help and listen, not, I think that that, that shaming is almost like you're trying to fix it for them again. Right. You know, like here's a fix your kids, like, feel guilty about that, and then you should be good. Right.
[00:23:33] Mark Faul: Right.
[00:23:34] And that's, that's so natural to do though. Especially depending on the relationship you have with the person, if it's a family member or relative, you're like, what about cousin? So-and-so what about the kids? What about, and, and that's. Fine for you, but this is about them and they are,
[00:23:50] DJ Heyward: Especially if they feel like if they're a burden to everyone.
[00:23:53] Mark Faul: Yeah, absolutely. And they are not, they're not, they're, they're, they're looking at death, they're being alone. They're they're um, looking at the past. They're like you, we want to come alongside them and just meet them where they're at done deal and, and let them, and just be with them and love them. Just like Jesus.
[00:24:15] Jon Miller: What'd you say a big part of it is trying to talk as little as possible yourself, like when you're trying to help someone.
[00:24:20] Mark Faul: Note the hesitation on that answer. Yeah, obviously. Yeah, you want it. Yeah, we've done the examples of, well, when I thought about this, this is what I did. And like, again, it's not about you, it's about them.
[00:24:33] So the more they can verbalize, um, and sometimes just sitting there in silence can be healing. Just allows somebody didn't re realize that, Hey, there's somebody still here. I haven't said a word in five minutes, but this friend, this relative is this neighbor is still here and. Okay. Maybe I can trust him with maybe sharing a little bit more intimate stuff that's going on in my life.
[00:24:56] Um, so, so yeah, don't be scared of silence sometimes that can be the best thing. And, um, yeah. Again, our goal is to keep them safe just for now. We're not therapists, we're not counselors. We just want to keep them safe for now. Um, and if for some reason we, we, we get the feeling that there's some, some, some harm that could possibly come by, uh, that that's pretty immediate.
[00:25:20] Obviously, there are some steps that we can take by calling 9 1 1 a crisis team. There's a suicide prevention hotline, twenty four seven. We can call them. And if you're not quite sure, what do they tell you exactly what to do. There are so many resources in Maricopa county.
[00:25:37] Jon Miller: And all over, not just help, you know, national suicide prevention line is like everywhere right
[00:25:43] Mark Faul: Yep, absolutely.
[00:25:43] Yep. It's national.
[00:25:44] Jon Miller: I think you could just Google it too. I don't have it off hand. I have it. I've saved it in my contacts in my phone. Um, but uh, you can't Google it for, you
[00:25:52] Mark Faul: can Google it. It's also 1 800 273-8255. If I could say that, but yeah, so yeah. Um, Yeah. They'll they'll they'll they'll give you resources wherever you're at.
[00:26:05] Jon Miller: Yeah. We'll put it in the show notes too. Yeah,
[00:26:06] there you go. Yeah. So we'll have it all over the place. It's really important that they're good people too. So, um, and a big part, what they do too, is just listening, right?
[00:26:14] Yeah. Yeah. That's what they do. They, they listened. I make a quick assessment. Okay. What's going on?
[00:26:19] And because people call that number. Not because they want to kill themselves, but they're calling that number because they want to live. They really do. And, um, and so, and that's what they do and they do it very well. And they have some great resources in your community. Yeah.
[00:26:34] DJ Heyward: Yeah. I think a lot of people learn through story.
[00:26:37] So do you have a story that you can kind of walk us through of like, Hey, this is a point in time where you are dealing with this, uh, with someone in know. Um, what are the same examples that you have from your personal life or professional life of like a really easy, practical way that someone can, if when someone says, yes, I am suicidal or they know for a fact that someone is suicidal, like,
[00:27:01] Mark Faul: Yeah.
[00:27:01] I mean, a personal example, a lot of my examples are coming from, come from a work-related yeah. Um, perspective for perspective and thing. But, um, um, there. It, it it's, it's amazing to me. How many people really think have thought about suicide and considered it. Um, we have statistics all over the place. I mean, uh, I believe it's 2019, 47,500 plus people, um, killed themselves, uh, in, in America.
[00:27:34] And, um, um, that's a lot of people, I think that's, I'm not a math person, but I think there's like 12. Um, excuse me, one every 12 minutes. Um, and so, and that's just the ones that we can record that are legit. There's a lot are that are, we don't even know about that are classified as something different from statistics and stuff.
[00:27:55] Again, being able to listen is just so key. It's so key.
[00:27:58] DJ Heyward: Yeah, it is key. Like when I was, uh, you know, working with the college students I was working with and, um, a lot of the times now we'll go there with, uh, You know, some, some other people, some other support. And a lot of times I'll be the one interacting with, you know, with this individual and, and a lot of the things that we just, we just talked and we were just.
[00:28:20] Just really hanging out until, you know, the correct person I, where the, whoever they were supposed to talk to in the moment, you know, where they're the professional, uh, we're able to come. And I love that what you said, like the most important thing, let's just keep them with you try to keep them safe. And a lot of that is just man, just having, just having a conversation.
[00:28:38] And sometimes we. Things that were really trivial, like sports and, you know, and do you like this and do you like that? Do you like to play basketball or, um, you know, other things like, Hey, like tell me, tell me about your family. Tell me what's what's going on and, um, tell me your story. I just want to, I really want to know what really want to get to know you in this moment.
[00:28:58] So I think that's just, that's really good. And just being able to ask questions and not have the fear that you feel like you have to have to fix the situation. So, yeah. Yeah,
[00:29:08] Mark Faul: Right? Yeah. That, that, that is the key. It really is. And then just getting them to the right help is, um, well, when it's appropriate and there are, I mean, we start with, if you go to the crisis line, they can help you out.
[00:29:20] I often refer people to their health insurance because, um, most, um, and most employers have the EAP employee systems program. So they have free counseling, three to six sessions usually for free so they can get that, um, the church. Has local counselors that are vetted, so they can also, um, find some assistance.
[00:29:41] Some long-term assistance on that as well.
[00:29:44] Jon Miller: What would you say in the circumstance where maybe it's a parent or a relative and, um, like, uh, the kid is maybe threatening, like they're considering suicide. Uh, and the parents, like, um, now you're just making it up or you're just trying to get attention. What do you suggest they do in those circumstances?
[00:30:02] Because you can't fully know, but you can also be so in the moment it's so emotional. Like now that can't be real, you're just being, you know, Uh, difficult or something like that. Right.
[00:30:11] Mark Faul: And you're right. Often. Yeah. They are looking for attention. And so our answer for that would be give them the attention because at one time when you don't, you don't want to, you may not want to make that mistake.
[00:30:24] Um, and it can be frustrating, uh, as a parent, it can be time-consuming. Um, but it. It also provides maybe the opportunity for some talking points going, what, what exactly is going on here? Maybe there's something that if some family counseling could help out with just to identify, why is this continuing to happen?
[00:30:47] Um, and, and there's reasons for that. There's a reasons why maybe that teenager is, is saying, Hey, I'm thinking of killing myself and yeah. And so do we still have that, that, that kid is still breathing. So let's see if what we can find out and what, what, what is causing him or her to say that, um, what is the stressor there?
[00:31:09] What what's he or she anxious about? Um, and, and definitely for parents, to be honest, what's what else is it? What's in the home. How can. I don't want to blame anyone, but maybe it was something else that maybe we can change in the home that, that could help in this situation and things, or maybe there's something at school that, that we're not identifying that could help out.
[00:31:29] So, um, but yeah, and we have that in the clinic all the time where people come in, even if they're waiting for a doctor for like 45 minutes over time and, and like, where do I see the doctor? And if they say. Suicide. We, we have to hop because we just take that seriously. And sometimes it could be an attention grabber, but we're not willing to take that chance.
[00:31:52] Jon Miller: Wow. That's a really good point. So it's always worth taking the time, always worth taking it seriously, even if you're 95% sure.
[00:32:02] Mark Faul: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, parents are not going, are you kidding me? But you know, something, we just don't want to take that chance and yeah. And then also maybe to go further and just try to identify what what's the reason, why are they doing this what's going on because there's a reason.
[00:32:19] Yeah. Yeah,
[00:32:20] Jon Miller: absolutely. Um, I had a great follow-up question. I don't know where it went.
[00:32:30] DJ Heyward: Um, so what about if you're speaking to like teenagers who, you know, their teenage friends talking about your example as probably knows about it as well, but they are afraid to, if they tell him their friend that they're gonna lose their relationship, how do you encourage, you know, When you're a teenager, that's the really important.
[00:32:51] Mark Faul: That is huge.
[00:32:51] Yeah. As a teenager. Yeah. Um, and, and that's a, that's a tough choice. However, life hopefully would prevail and they would say, you know, I, I want you as my friend. And, but you said this to me, I got to tell somebody, I got to tell them adult, I got to do this. Um, and most likely in hindsight, when,
[00:33:16] that thought that feeling is addressed and talked about. That could probably even strengthen that relationship instead of just instead of the fear of, of, of losing it often it'll strengthen it. So I would just encourage teenagers to if they have a friend or something. Yeah. Um, they're they, they tell, tell an adult there's actually a teen suicide hotline just for teenagers.
[00:33:40] They can call them and say, Hey, I got a friend who, uh, who's, who's struggled some stuff and I'm not quite sure what to do. And they could give them some, some specific guidance and things. Um, one of the things we encourage them to do is to maybe. To have them call with the friend with that friend's phone, because then that phone number is on record for tracking reasons, just in case good kind of a thing.
[00:34:01] So using their phone so they can identify where to find them if needed, if they're really struggling. So, wow. That's great. All kinds
[00:34:09] of stuff out there.
[00:34:10] Jon Miller: We'll put that number in the show notes. I'm I'm I'm making Spencer do this. This is his second shout out, shout out. So, thanks. Yeah, we gotta have that in there.
[00:34:20] Um, awesome. That's so good. I did think of it. Wasn't a follow-up question, but it's, it's a statistic I thought of, and you could correct me because I'm sure you're more aware of it than I am, but I believe from ages 10 to 28. Suicide is like the number two killer in that age group.
[00:34:36] Mark Faul: Yeah.
[00:34:37] Oh, you're pulling me on stats now.
[00:34:39] I think you're right.
[00:34:41] Jon Miller: You don't have your PowerPoint, right?
[00:34:42] Mark Faul: I don't, I don't, I don't have it with me. Yeah. I think you're right. It's it's that age range, age range. It's amazing how young that we're seeing this sometimes I'm making be even below the age of 10, you're like, oh my God. That's just some stress for those kids, I guess.
[00:34:58] But yeah,
[00:34:59] Jon Miller: It's serious. And so it's important that we take it seriously. Um, and not fear because we don't have to fix it. We just have to be there with them and ask questions and talk to them. And that we have resources. We have the phone numbers we can call. We have, you know, if it's life-threatening 911 is the first thing you do and try to get the location of the person.
[00:35:17] If you're not with them. Uh, these are all really good ways, love somebody. Like it's hard. Yeah. It's yucky. You, you know, the first part of stepping into their hole is yucky and it's not fun, but it's it's, you could save their life. And, um, I just, I reflect on that number a lot being in that age range right now, I'm almost out, but, uh, like that's the number two killer.
[00:35:43] Like we're not like in this current era era of, you know, civilization, like. People this age, don't my age, don't die very often, but to suicide, it's more common than it should be. Um, that's I reflect on that a lot. It's, it's something we just need to be able to step up and do so, um, yeah.
[00:36:04] DJ Heyward: That's so true.
[00:36:05] Yeah. That's so good. I have another question for you. Um, so, uh, In the beginning, we were talking about how suicide is a stigma around it. So, you know, thinking about from a parent perspective or someone in any household or whatever, how do you create an environment in your house where suicide isn't taboo?
[00:36:25] Cause it seems like the only time you would talk about it is when it's an issue. Right. And how do you create an environment with your kids or your family where they, this is something emotions and how we're feeling is something. We talk about all the time. Like how do you, have you been able to do that?
[00:36:41] Mark Faul: How do you,
[00:36:41] that's a great question. Do we dare just say communication, communication. And then after that communication. Just being able to, um, have an open, open dialogue with your, with your kids. Um, most likely if it's, if it's teenager, your kids probably know someone in school or something like that, who, who has talked about it, maybe.
[00:37:03] I, I, I won't say joked about it, but it's probably been in conversation in their, in their, in their connections that they have. Um, and just being able to have that open dialogue and say, Hey, ha, how are your friends doing? How are you guys doing? And maybe even, Hey, as suicide, even your friends talk about that at all.
[00:37:22] How, how, how are, how are they doing? And, and, and things, is that an issue with, with the people you hang out with? Just being able every once in a while, just any stressors going on in life and how you guys doing and, um, just being able to open up that come. Yeah. It can be very beneficial,
[00:37:40] Jon Miller: Basically modeling the ability,
[00:37:42] to listen. So yeah, they could even do what their friends like. Yeah. If you're able to listen to your kid and even if they're not dealing with those thoughts at that time, you know, just being like, you know, tell me more about that. What are your kids, or what are your kids? What are your students are, that's not the right word, but you know, your friends, friends, or your little friends, but like, man, I'm, I'm batting a hundred today.
[00:38:07] So that's how we know what that term means. But. What are your friends talking about at school and are they dealing with like suicide and modeling that you can say the word without any shame and that you don't expect that to be about like, oh, stop talking to your friends who are dealing with suicidal thoughts.
[00:38:24] Like, no, like, wow, it's so good that you're in their life right now. Right? Like, it's good. You're a part of it. That's such a big.
[00:38:30] DJ Heyward: I even think about
[00:38:31] it, you know, younger too. Like, you know, I have I've young kids, but even starting the conversations of not necessarily the word suicide, but Hey, they only want to have a hard time at school today.
[00:38:41] Like, did you ever, did you, like, we always ask, um, did you see anyone do anything kind today, but also adding like, Hey, did you see anyone have a hard time today? And w what'd you think about that? And maybe how can you help next time? Right? No, just start like, it doesn't have to start off with suicide. Yeah, it needs to start off, you know, age appropriately.
[00:38:59] Um, just asking a questions about me and how, how what's the temperature of the people around you. Sure. You know, so that we can get our kids. Uh, the ability to see other people, you know, when they're little, they always only see themselves and what's happening to them, but how can we help them frame the world in a way of like them viewing other people and seeing where other people are coming from.
[00:39:21] So, um, I do ask those questions. A lot of times they say, I didn't see anything, no one did anything kind, but sometimes, sometimes they say stuff. So
[00:39:30] Mark Faul: Yeah, it could be that one time we were like, you know what? I actually did see something. Yeah. Cool. Let's talk about that. Makes it worth it. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:39:37] Jon Miller: Yeah. Um, so we're running out of time, but I do have one last thing. Uh, is there any books, resources that you recommend, anybody wants to dig further into this and like they're big readers, maybe there's videos out there and anything you could just recommend off the top of your head. I know you're on the spot, but
[00:39:51] Mark Faul: One,
[00:39:53] one of the books that I often, um, refer to is what a book entitled the Gift of Fear by Gavin D something. There you go.
[00:40:05] DJ Heyward: We'll find it. Put that in the show notes.
[00:40:08] Mark Faul: There we go. Cool. There's a lot of that, but it's pretty easy. Right. Um, but it talks about that sixth sense that we have that gut feeling that something's not right.
[00:40:17] And often we'll just ignore. Oh yeah. What? That didn't whatever. Yeah. But it just helps us identify that and kind of go, maybe I should ask some questions. Maybe it kind of walks you through some of that stuff. That's got that's one. There's another one that I don't remember, but there's. Yeah.
[00:40:35] Jon Miller: Well, yeah, if you remember send it to me, I'll put it in the show notes.
[00:40:38] Mark Faul: Yeah,
[00:40:39] absolutely. Pretty good.
[00:40:40] DJ Heyward: I got one more thing for you. I didn't go for you for this. So, so, but I trust you solely that, that you can do this. If you were able to talk to someone, you know, right now, And that was struggling with suicidal ideation and self harm and all that kind of stuff. Um, what would you say to them?
[00:40:57] If you can look at them in the camera and say, Hey, like this, this is what I want you to know. Um, what would you say to that person?
[00:41:02] Mark Faul: If
[00:41:02] you can, if you think that you are in that, what we call the river of life and you're just drowning and you're just raising your hand, trying to. Wait, waiting for somebody to just pull their hand, put their hand down or, and pull you out.
[00:41:20] Um, I would encourage you to try to seek those people out and just let it be known that that there's some pain in your life that, that you would. It would be so helpful for you to talk to. Um, and as we get more and more, um, suicide prevention, people trained, um, there are more people who around us, in our communities who have the courage to ask that tough question and, and there's resources available.
[00:41:48] And one of the cool things, especially with a relationship with Jesus Christ, for us as helpers, right? There's more and more people on the banks of that river who are willing to reach down and just let you grab onto that hand. We may not be able to pull you out. We may not be able to fix it, but we'd be happy to hold you up for a while for a couple of more breaths, just to give you a foundation on and maybe a different perspective, because one of the cool things is that as a Christian, my other hand, Is being held tightly by God.
[00:42:24] And he's not going to let me go. And I got ahold of you. I ain't going to let you go. So we got a lot of support here and there's a lot of support hopefully around you in your community and ultimately through the love of Jesus Christ and, and, and there's hope there is hope. And, um, God says, I think it's in Romans, neither death nor life nor anything, um, will, can separate me from me from the love of God. And I, I, I live on that and I hope that you can to that nothing can separate us from God, no matter what your past is, no matter what you're staring at, no matter how dark your at the pit is that you might be in God's like I still love you. And hopefully there are people around you who are willing to maybe to help you as well, and just to be a listening ear.
[00:43:18] So, um, I, I hope, I hope that you can find the hope in Jesus Christ. I really do. Yeah.
[00:43:27] Jon Miller: Yeah. Is that a CIS program? Is that a national thing or is it just worldwide?
[00:43:31] Mark Faul: Worldwide? Yes, it's out of living. It's living works up in Calgary, Alberta, and, uh, the, uh, the military actually has about 10 years ago, just really hopped onto that as well, because they do a lot with the veterans and things like that.
[00:43:44] Yeah. You could probably find, you can go onto the still living works website and you could actually find where there are trainings in your community. And it's awesome. Often they're open to the public. Yeah,
[00:43:54] Jon Miller: well, I couldn't say more or like personally have gone through that, um, program just a year ago.
[00:43:59] It's a two day is the one I did. It was the two days we
[00:44:01] Mark Faul: did the big one. I did the big one. Yup,
[00:44:03] Jon Miller: yup. Totally worth the two days of my life. Um, got to meet some incredible people. Uh, you are a fantastic instructor, as long as it's Christopher. I remember his name. Um, and so wow. It was just incredible. Like, it was good even just for interpersonal learning how to listen to people.
[00:44:18] Like it's just so good. So. Um, highly recommend that find if you want to learn more training, I couldn't say enough about it is worth it. Convince your boss, convince somebody to pay for it if you need it. I don't think it's that expensive, but it's like, do it like it's, I don't know why this has become an advert for that, but it's really good.
[00:44:34] And it's really powerful to have those skills. Um, I couldn't say enough about it, so yeah, you'll
[00:44:38] Mark Faul: definitely walk away from there knowing exactly what to do when somebody says I'm going to end my life pretty much.
[00:44:45] Jon Miller: And feeling just comfortable with it. Like not, not even like, okay, this is a little bit uncomfortable talking about these heart issues.
[00:44:50] Still. It doesn't go away, but more comfortable with like, oh, this is actually the right thing to do. Like sometimes you're, if you're just listening it, you could have the thought. I was like, I'm not doing it if I'm not doing it. Well, no, I'm listening. This is the right thing to do. This is good. So yeah, it's just confidence.
[00:45:03] Yeah. Couldn't say enough about it. So thank you everybody for being a part of the, beyond the lines podcast and, and hearing this whole thing. I am so happy that you listened to it. And we're a part of it. We record out of central Christian Church in Arizona, and our website is centralaz.com don't know, I keep adding a slash it's just centralaz.com.
[00:45:21] I did this last time and you can go check us out there. Campuses all throughout the valley, as well as an online campus. If you want to check it out, thanks for tuning into the, beyond the lines. I'll see you next time until then love beyond your lines.
[00:45:35] Mark Faul: Thank you. Thank you.