“I never saw it coming. He was the last person I ever thought would take his life.” – Very close friend

Silently, quietly, the Ghost of Suicide slithers here and there striking with a vengeance that leaves it’s victims dead and the hearts of loved ones and dear friends broken.

My first experience with suicide was in 1963. One of the 110 boys under my supervision at Stevens Hall, University of Idaho, attempted to take his life.

Eight years later, Ms. X came to my counseling center. She had recently tried to check out for the sixth time. Thankfully a neighbor fished her out of her car.

One of my scariest moments was talking a client into giving me his loaded pistol.   

During the past 50 years, my life experience has taught me a Suicide Prevention Life Book.

With gratitude, I humbly thank the Lord I have never lost a client. I think the skills I learned as a basketball coach, through psychology, and spiritual education have been valuable.

Basketball coaching is all about finding the opponents weaknesses. Counseling begins with accurate diagnosis.

Psychology is vital in understanding human behavior. The “Why” is discovered with excellent psychological tools. My conviction is psychology can undress you but it can’t dress you (fix you).

The spiritual dimension amasses the big and most important questions.

Who are you?
Who made you?
What is your purpose in life?
What happens to you when you die?

Never before have so many youths told me they, or a friend, have seriously considered taking their life.

The Crowell Manual for Suicide Prevention:

  1. Listen carefully to words spoken. Ask crucial questions.
  2. Watch for changes in behavior.
  3. If a person says words like, “I want to die,” take it very seriously.
  4. If depressed get medical help NOW.
  5. Get a qualified mentor to coach them.
  6. If there is any doubt about it, even the slightest doubt there are two choices. Psychiatric ward or 24 hour eyes on surveillance with all dangerous objects removed from the area.

The suicide ghost is serious. We need to be even more serious.


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