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Published on November 01, 2022

Jarett and Laura Bies

Finding Hope and Resilience After a Suicide Attempt

When someone attempts suicide, a common question asked is simply “Why?”

“Research from suicide attempt survivors has shown us that people may attempt for different reasons. Common reasons may include feeling like they are a burden to others, wanting the emotional pain to stop, or feeling hopeless about the current situation they are in,” said Amber Reints, PMHNP, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Avera Behavioral Health.

Although it was 30 years ago, Jarett Bies remembers being in that dark place. “I was bored, sad and lonely. My self-worth was nonexistent. But what really led to my attempt was a sense of shame and self-blame.”

After Bies’ attempt, serving in the military at the time, Bies’ friends took him to get help and eventually find hope.

“In that moment, I wanted my friends, my platoon – everyone – to stop caring and leave me alone. I didn’t deserve their affection, friendship or love. Yet that wasn’t true,” he said.

Coming Out of the Darkness

Bies was able to recover and move forward. He was able to successfully serve his remaining time in the military, get married and pursue a career as a journalist and a writer.

Yet he still remembers those dark moments. “Most days, I thrive. But there are those down days when I just survive – sometimes hour to hour, sometimes minute to minute.”

Today, Bies wants to use his own experience to help others who may find themselves in a dark place and encourage them to get help.

“The richest, happiest, most loving persons you know – they may have felt that sense of being unworthy. They may have known unlovable moments,” Bies said.

Know the Warning Signs

Certain thoughts and actions can be signals that you may need help.

  • Expressions of hopelessness or feeling trapped
  • Talking about feeling empty or having no reason to live
  • Increase in drug and alcohol use
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy

You Can Help: Ask the Question

Asking someone if they’ve been thinking about suicide does not put the idea into their head. “Rather it can open doors to honest conversation and provide the person who is hurting some relief. It opens up a conversation where we are able to let them know that they are not alone and that help is available because someone cared enough to ask,” Reints said.

If you care about someone who’s at risk, “turn on the light – be a flashlight – for someone in darkness,” Bies said. “Things can get better and feel better. For those like me who have been through it, there’s proof in the fact that we’re still talking, moving and doing. In loving and being loved.”

Thoughts of Suicide? Get Help Now

These resources are open 24/7 for immediate access:

  • 988 – Call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for immediate help for you or someone you love.
  • 800-691-4336 – Call this Avera Behavioral Health Urgent Care number to find behavioral health services to fit your needs, whether that’s outpatient or inpatient care.
  • Behavioral Health Urgent Care – If you live in Sioux Falls, go to the Behavioral Health Urgent Care during a mental health crisis.
  • Emergency Department – If you don’t have a specialized urgent care, go to your local emergency department for immediate help.
  • Behavioral Health Navigation – If not in crisis but seeking information on behavioral health services, reach out to Avera Behavioral Health Navigation at 605-322-5142.

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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