If you’re struggling with depression, or if you know someone who is

Author’s note: This page is dedicated to F—. The following text is adapted from my post about F—, which debuted on April 30, 2016. MEM

If you are struggling and need help, please reach out to your loved ones, but remember that they can’t always understand what you’re going through. It’s important to talk to a trained professional. A good place to start is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; it can be reached at any time, day or night, at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255. The lifeline’s website is www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

If you aren’t depressed but know someone who is, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers these tips on how to help someone who may be feeling suicidal. The Lifeline’s website also has pages devoted to people who have survived their own suicide attemptsthose whose loved ones have committed suicide, and depressed individuals who are young adults as well as those who are veteransbullying victimsSpanish speakers or hearing-impaired. The site has plenty of other resources, too, including a list of warning signs that someone may be suicidal.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), which is affiliated with the World Health Organization, maintains a list of crisis centers located all over the planet at www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres. IASP even lists online crisis intervention services. Residents of other countries can also find help at Befrienders Worldwide, which offers pages in more than 20 different languages. As is the case with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, both of these sites feature plenty of information about suicide.

Finally, try to be understanding and compassionate toward others, even if they annoy you, and even if they have opinions or act in ways that you find objectionable. To paraphrase the 19th century British pastor John Watson, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

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