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Always show you care

Late Friday night, a sad event took place in Lawrence County, one that no person ever wants to report on or ever place in the pages of a newspaper.

Our county lost a Lawrence County commissioner, Bill Pratt, at the young age of 45. We urge everyone to take in the words of Commissioners DeAnna Hall Holliday and Freddie L. Hayes Jr. when they stated, “We are heartbroken over the passing of our friend and colleague, Commissioner Bill Pratt. We earnestly pray for his family and send our heartfelt condolences to them. Our County feels the loss of this valued public servant. We urge all to pray for his  family in their bereavement and also for their future.”

Please make yourself available to listen to anyone that is hurting because of this tragedy.

Please also make yourself available to listen to anyone that is dealing with any type of anxiety or depression.

There are no magic words, but there are words of love and encouragement. Please ask this more often of people close to you, ask “What can I do to help?” or “If you weren’t OK, you know you can talk to me, right?”

We need to open this doorway to being able to have constructive, trusting conversations with the people we love.

If there’s hesitation, prepare to plant yourself right there to be a sincere, unhurried listener.

When listening time ends, tell the person about a time that they helped you when you were struggling or a time when they made you smile.

Tell them something nice about themselves that they may not have realized anyone ever noticed.

Simply making a human connection — a conversation, a walk, a meal — can take the vulnerable person’s mind off of the thing that is most troubling him or her. That connection, if made in time, can help avoid a crisis someone may be having.

Remember, if we want to help, we must say something. We can’t count on those who are hurting to reach out to us.

Anxiety and depression is unlike a broken leg. A broken leg can be seen by a friend, because of the cast or leg brace.

It is easy to acknowledge and ask someone about.

Anxiety and depression carries no cast or sling to identify with. We must talk about it.
Meanwhile, here’s advice for anyone, of any age, struggling with anxiety or depression. Please find positive ways to channel those feelings. Read. Write. Draw. Play. Pray. Watch great movies. Listen to music. Make your own music. Snuggle with a kitten. Walk a dog. Chase sunsets. Talk to people you love. Talk to a professional.

If you don’t know who else to talk to, you can call the Lawrence County Crisis Line at 855-381-1010 or contact Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. These are free and are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information can be found at: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.


Scott Schmeltzer is the publisher at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at scott.schmeltzer@irontontribune.com.