"How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love." - BLESSED TERESA OF CALCUTTA

Blog 4: “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God” (Is 41:10).

Blog 4 in a series of 4 | Read complete series

As we continue to live the respect life mission to the best of our ability, it is imperative that we recognize the dangers of suicide among young people and the ways in which we can prevent it. Through advocacy, awareness, and prayer we can fight for the lives of young people and remind them that even in their darkest times, they are not alone.

We are all made in the image and likeness of God.  By recognizing this in ourselves and others, we are reminded of how important each and every one of us is.  It is important that we look at those who are expressing signs of suicidal thoughts or actions with compassion and care, and that we take their call for help seriously.

In our mission to help the mentally ill, or the mission of those struggling with mental illness to find comfort and relief, we can look to Saint Dymphna, the patron saint of the mentally ill and those suffering from neurological disorders.  Saint Dymphna was born in Ireland in the 7th century, but fled to Belgium where she was later killed by her father when she was 15 years old, after she refused to marry him.  She has become the patroness of those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other associated issues when people began praying to her and traveling to the city in which she died for a cure to their mental illnesses.

Those who are suffering from mental illness or struggling with thoughts of suicide, as well as those who wish to console and help those suffering, are encouraged to pray to St. Dymphna and ask for her intercession.

Prayer to Saint Dymphna

O merciful God,
You have willed that St. Dymphna
should be invoked as the patroness
of nervous and mental disease.
Grant that, through the prayer
of this youthful martyr of purity,
those who suffer from nervous
and mental illness may be helped and consoled. I recommend
to you in particular (here mention those you wish to pray for).

Through Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

On top of our prayers for those suffering, we also need to make it our goal to de-stigmatize mental illness, and promote a culture which encourages seeking help when one needs it.  In building a culture of life, we are called to promote the protection of every life in every condition.

God has a plan for the lives of each and every one of us.  Suicide ultimately gets in the way of the lives which God is calling us to live.  The human dignity which God grants us at conception must be upheld and respected throughout the whole of our existence, until natural death.

By showing people love, compassion, and understanding, we can take the first steps in preventing suicide.  Be aware of the risk factors, warning signs, and the available resources which could ultimately save a life.  Every life is worth living, and every life is worth protecting.

To learn more about suicide prevention, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

If you are in need of immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Bridget Lynn
About the Author
Brigid Lynn is the Respect Life Intern for Spring 2018. She is currently a sophomore in the Adelphi University Honors College, where she is studying Sociology with a minor in Dance. Brigid is passionate about serving the community and has participated in outreach programs both locally and internationally. She aspires to further her education and one day run her own non-profit organization to help those in need.