How do we get people to talk about it? We talk about it! It’s that simple!

I started out driving for Uber in Colorado Springs in January 2019. It was the only thing I could think to do in the moment for us to survive in a new place. We had lost our truck in South Carolina and our tour trailer shortly after we got here and our storage was in Atlanta, GA.

I dreaded the moment of renting that car from Uber in Denver, driving back to Colorado Springs, and then turning on that app for the first time. Who was I going to get in the car? You know all the other things you hear. So, I started watching the weather forecast, and in the Springs the weather changes all the time, so it’s a very interesting topic. That did it! It got me going. I could talk about the weather. After 3 weeks, I walked away from Uber and have given over 9,000 rides now with Lyft.

Ok, sure, but how do you talk about Suicide Prevention? That’s different! We just start talking! Really, it’s that simple. You’ll know quickly if you need to change the subject, but you dared to go there just in case. They know how much you care in that at least you tried. Most folks don’t!

Being a graphic designer by degree, I created an 8.5 x 11 sign to go on the back of both fronts seats. It simply told folks that I am a recording artist and author, but my focus is on suicide prevention and helping people. Many conversations started with them asking questions after reading it. I didn’t have to go first, yes! As of today, I had over 40 riders tell me they were either thinking about or pursuing suicide, a few were planning after I dropped them off.

What would you do if someone told you they were going to do it? Remember, there is an estimated 25 people who try for each one that succeeds. There are at least 160 individuals impacted by each suicide. Those numbers are staggering and then it gets worse when you add in drug overdoses, some car wrecks, and other things that were as well. I believe that some people die by suicide at age 25. They simply give up on life and live out their remaining days, doing and saying things that eventually take them to the grave, never winning their race in life. This is sad too, but there are more chances to get to them while they still breathe.

We’ve got to get over competing with and being better than the neighbors next door. Those neighbors next door might be on the edge right now. Perhaps a knock on the door to say, “Hi!” could be what they really need. What about family, friends, co-workers, peers, etc.? We don’t even need to mention suicide prevention to them. Sometimes all they need in that moment is to be noticed and feel like someone cares, giving them a reason to live another day. Bartenders are some of my heroes. Some folks go to bars to try and find a reason to stay another day. I’ve thanked many bartenders for going the extra mile. Some have told me their stories. Wow!

If you don’t know what to say, simply ask someone their story. They might share or not. It’s still a start. If they ask for yours, start talking. Something in yours might click with them. Sometimes, you never know, but there was a reason to meet and ultimately, the Lord sees and knows. Have you ever heard that song, THANK YOU, by Ray Boltz? Listen to it and you’ll understand. I get tears in my eyes every time I remember it. Do it! I dare you to listen! It’ll change your life!

You really have to be careful though. Once you start down this path of encouragement, it could become addictive. I’m really being serious. Why would you think that so? Well, I believe, that when we encourage others, it does something inside of us that our soul craves. It lifts our spirit. I like to say that I’m an Encouragment Junkie! I need to be encouraged the most, so I do it more! This is something we can do a competition in! There’s nothing like having a conversation with someone who is considering leaving the planet by their own hand one moment, and then the next they are laughing along with you focusing on their Life Dream. Most times, it only takes a minute or two.

Blessings and favor in your journey,

Joseph James

I hope this blog post helps. Please check out my BOOKS, MUSIC, UPCOMING FILM PROJECTS, & PODCASTS. I write to help others! My book DREAMER’S INK is a self/group help book that helps folks discover and pursue their Life/God-Given dreams. I devoted 11 podcasts to it, a certificate in the back, and study guide. Janiece’s Biography, SENTENCED TO DEATH DESTINED FOR LIFE, is chock full of many incredible miracles and healings she received after the doctors gave up hope of life. My 5 book fiction series, ISLANDS IN THE SEA, is a SAGA full of MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, ROMANCE, DANGER, PROPHECY, SUPERNATURAL, and did I say, ADVENTURE? I also have a short allegory and art print, DESTINY PATH OF LIFE. I write my music for ROMANCE, to CHALLENGE, for FUN, and to help stir our PATRIOTIC spirit. Albums | SOMEBODY’S HERO, DARE TO DREAM, WE ARE AMERICAN. New Singles | I WANT TO LOVE YOU, YOUR LOVE LIFTED ME, OH BABY DO YOU WANT TO DANCE, CALL ME, & YOU ARE HERE. Check out my MUSIC on my WEBSITE, YOUTUBE, RUMBLE, and 37 Streaming Platforms including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Pandora, etc.