Since Robin Williams’ tragic death, there has been volumes written and discussed about addiction, recovery, depression and suicide in the media. Depression. Substance Abuse. Suicide. Each strikes fear and trembling in every parent’s heart.
“O God, please don’t let any of these ever happen to my child”, we say to ourselves. We hope and pray none of these will touch our lives. Most of us are unprepared and uninformed. Unless your family or personal background has these elements in it, you’re probably like me – clueless.
If you’re a parent who’s troubled by your son or daughter’s behaviors, do you know where to turn for help? Maybe you’ve suspected they have a drug or alcohol problem but aren’t sure. You don’t know anyone you can talk to who can answer you questions or guide you to your next steps.
If this describes you, then you really need to know about Light House Network. Click here to check out their comprehensive website. They offer a free, confidential help line 1-800-562-2565 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Lighthouse Network assists parents, grandparents or church leaders to know where to find help for a loved one (or parishioner) they suspect is wrestling with a drug, alcohol, psychological, or emotional problem.
Lighthouse also offers parent coaching and a daily devotional. Pretty awesome.
You can find expert answers to questions like these, and much more, on their comprehensive website:
- How can I tell if someone I know is addicted?
- What if my spouse, relative, or friend is in denial?
- What is the best way to talk to someone about their addiction?
- What are the next steps I should take?
- What are the available treatment options?
If depression is their issue, you need to hear what Dr. Kevin Duckworth, Medical Director for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness; nami.org), wrote this week in his blog: “Severe depression distorts rational thinking and can lead to the fixed idea that hopelessness and pain are to be your experience forever. They often reported simply losing the sense that they mattered to other people and forgot that they, too, were loved.” They weren’t being selfish; they couldn’t remember; they were unable to hold on to these truths. I didn’t know.
These are two very helpful resources for you if your child wrestles with thoughts of suicide:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7 availability; for the individual or those concerned about their safety.
QPR Institute – Save a life! qprinstitute.com Learn this simple 3-step process (question-persuade-refer) that works like CPR, to keep someone alive until help arrives, or they’re able to get to help (a counseling appointment, or the nearest emergency room).
These are serious issues. We don’t take them lightly. Thousands of lives are lost every year. In reality, you may not be able to save your child. But I leave you with some words of hope.
– You are not alone. God is with you, no matter what happens. Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
– God always hears your prayers and will help you. Proverbs 15:29
– God will give you the strength and endurance you need to do whatever you have to do in life, in Christ. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”
– God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Father, God, help us not to live in fear or dread if we encounter any of these issues with our child. Help us hold on to the many promises you’ve given and keep trusting. Thank you for the resources that are available to us. Connect us with what we need, when we need it. Thank you that you care about us and our children. In the name of Jesus, Amen.