Opp chief: 3 is too many; help available for those considering suicide

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016

In the last month, three Opp residents have taken their own lives through self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

In response, Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald said that three families are now suffering the loss of a loved one.

“It is nothing less than tragic,” he said. “People that are physically ill will sometimes exercise suicide as an option. In some cases, people that have financial problems will choose suicide over life. In other cases, people with relationship problems choose to end their life. In many cases, no one can put a finger on why a loved one decided on self-destruction.”

McDonald said that if someone has attempted suicide in the past, they are at risk.

“If someone talks about suicide as a way of ending their problems, they are at risk,” he said. “If someone withdraws from normal interactions and appears to be depressed, they are at risk.”

McDonald reminded families that there is help.

“Their family doctor may be of assistance in coordinating assistance through other medical professionals,” he said. “Trained mental health professionals are available at the mental health center in Andalusia. The family pastor may certainly be of great assistance in matters like this.”

McDonald said for those who do not have pastors, the OPD has two chaplains that are willing to provide assistance to help those struggling with suicide.

“We encourage anyone that is struggling with the notion of suicide to stop,” he said. “Take a deep breath. Reach out for help. It’s not just about you. It also involves your family, children and friends and the horrible impact that they must live with for the rest of their lives. We ask that our citizens pray that God will provide strength for the three families that have been so terribly impacted by these deaths.”