LUBBOCK, Texas — The City of Lubbock Public Health Department partnered with local organizations to host the second Source to Solution Addiction & Recovery Symposium at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on Wednesday.
Sybille Neuber, a volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said she attended the conference to talk with people about the risks that those with substance use disorders might be facing.
“A lot of them are, at some point in their lives, in danger of attempting suicide,” Neuber stated.
She said she experienced that truth and knows the reality. Five years ago, her son took his own life after struggling with mental health and addiction.
“That’s the horrible thing about suicide, or getting to that point where you’re considering suicide because you can get into a place so dark that you actually believe nothing’s fixable,” Phil Sheridan, the chief executive officer for The Ranch at Dove Tree.
He said when someone experiences despair and hopelessness, it is often connected with treatable disorders. Treatment can be as simple as seeing a therapist and or taking medication, Neuber explained.
“Whether it’s addiction, depression [or] whether it’s a combination of those factors,” Sheridan started, someone may arrive at a point “where they ultimately feel that nobody cares about them, or that life doesn’t have meaning or purpose.”
Neuber said one-on-one conversations could make all the difference but asking how someone is doing may not provide enough information about that person’s true state of being. She stressed the importance of being intentional with the language you use when speaking with a loved one who is struggling.
“A lot of people are afraid to mention suicide, but ask them if they’re contemplating suicide or if they’ve made plans to attempt suicide,” Neuber said.
While taking that first step can feel incredibly difficult, Sheridan said, it is a decision that will change your life.
He added, “If you can make that incredibly vulnerable, difficult, and courageous decision to raise your hand and say, ‘I’m in trouble, I’m not doing well, and I need help,'” recovery and healing can be yours.