6 Things You Can Do to Help Save a Life This Holiday Season

It is always heartbreaking for us at Georgia Clean to enter a scene where someone has lost their life whether from an accident, suicide, or murder. When that scene involves someone committing suicide, we are left asking the same questions as everyone else: why? Though the springtime is when the suicide rate goes up the most, the holiday season with its emphasis on love and family can also be extremely difficult. People can feel alone and lost and, for some, the only way out they can see is by losing their life.

With all the heartbreak of friends and family grieving their loved ones that we see here in Georgia, we can’t stress enough how important it is to be available and open to friends, family, and coworkers who may need to talk. You may just save a life this holiday season by asking that question or by taking someone out for a cup of coffee and being there for them. If you see someone struggling, here are six things you can do:

1. Follow Your Instincts

If you notice someone is struggling and something inside you says to intervene and find out what is going on, listen to that instinct and ask. It is better to risk offending someone than knowing you should then finding it’s too late. Make that call today. Talk to them today. Find out what is going on.

2. Listen

Sometimes people just need to feel heard and seen. When we are struggling with our emotions, with physical pain, or financial struggles, we can feel alone and as if no one sees us. We may even hide away. Without hope or the comfort of another, we start to believe the world will be better without us. Sit down with them and listen closely with compassion and no judgment to whatever they need to say.

3. Ask What You Can Do To Help

When we are going through a difficult time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to turn for help or if anyone would even care. With the additional difficulty of taking the risk to ask, make the first move by asking how you can help if someone you know is struggling. If you see an obvious need, you can suggest you do that thing. Sometimes it just takes a bit of help to take the next step in life or to get out of bed the next morning. This help can take the form of buying groceries, babysitting, cleaning their house, weeding their yard, providing them a place to sleep, or simply taking them out for a night of fun and companionship.

4. Connect Them With Resources

Get to know the resources available for people who struggle in your community so you can point people in the right directions. There may be an organization helping pay utility bills, food banks that help feed the hungry, volunteers walking alongside immigrants, or resource centers to help people find jobs.

5. Help Them Find A Counselor

Not everyone can afford a counselor but if it is within reach or financial assistance is available, help the person find a good counselor they can talk to. Make sure, though, you don’t reach out to the counselor for them. They need to be the one to reach out and make that decision for themselves.

6. Reach Out For Help

If you think the person is a threat to themselves or another person, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for guidance or call your local police department for assistance.

Sometimes all it takes is one person to help turn things around for another person. If you think back to the difficult times in your own life, there was likely a friend, family member, or even a stranger who made a big difference during a difficult time—someone who helped you make it through. We can all be that person for someone else struggling through difficulties of their own. Your actions today may just save a life.

3 Things We Need to Know on a Suicide by Gunshot Cleanup Call

Dealing with the effects of a loved one’s suicide is a trauma no one ever wants to experience. If someone you love has killed themselves, though, we are here to help clean up the aftermath and restore your Atlanta property of all bodily fluids so everyone is safe from any health effects in the future.

If your loved one has killed themselves by gunshot in Atlanta, there are three key pieces of information we could use when you call us to clean it up. If you don’t know the information, that’s okay but it would be helpful if you tell us the following when you call:

  1. Type of Gun Used
    The type of gun a person uses when committing suicide can have different effects on the amount of cleanup needed to restore the property. When you call us to come to the scene, please let us know the caliber and type of gun used if you have that information. If you don’t, that is okay.
  2. Type of Room

    Different rooms in a building or home can have vastly different surfaces. A bedroom will have a lot of fabric, rugs, and carpet to dispose of along with a mattress. A kitchen or bathroom, on the other hand, can have a lot of tile and stone in the area which will need decontamination and sanitizing. For each surface, we have special industrial-grade cleaning products to make sure they are free of all bodily fluids and safe for anyone to use. By letting us know what kind of room needs to be clean, we can make sure we bring plenty of cleaners for the types of surfaces we’ll be cleaning.

  3. Has the Coroner Released the Scene?

    Before we begin cleaning, the police need to have finished their investigation and released the scene. In addition, the coroner needs to have already picked up the body before we can begin to take care of whatever material has been left behind. If the police and coroner have completed their work, we can come right away. If they are still completing their tasks, we can be on standby to begin as soon as they’re done.

Need Support?

There are multiple groups in the local area who can provide support for both suicide prevention and helping family and friends cope after a loved one dies.

Who Does Suicide Cleanup in Atlanta?

When a loved one decides to end their own life, the pain of their loss is immense. Not only are you left walking through your grief but if you own the property where they died or are in charge of the person’s estate, you also have to deal with cleaning up the physical mess left behind. Where do you turn in such a time? Cleaning up bodily fluids after a suicide can be extremely dangerous and takes a specialized skill set. In Atlanta, Georgia Clean is the go-to company for suicide cleanup.

Georgia Clean is Here to Help

Here in Atlanta, Georgia Clean is the trusted biohazard cleanup team ready 24/7 to address the suicide cleanup. Our experienced and compassionate staff will always respond right away to any property in the greater Atlanta area. Knowing this is a sensitive time for all involved, we respect your privacy and arrive in a nondescript vehicle with plain uniforms, getting right to work cleaning and restoring the area so you can begin the process of recovery.

How Much Does the Suicide Cleanup Cost?

Suicide cleanup is often covered under your homeowner’s insurance. Our staff at Georgia Clean can help you open a claim with your insurance company and file all the paperwork. We never ask for an initial payment. In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance will cover the entire cost of the cleanup less your deductible.

How Soon Can You Get Here?

Local to the Atlanta area, we are able to dispatch a crew quickly to your location. We prioritize these situations and we want to make sure that your evironment is both physically and mentally safe to return to.

Questions?

Do you have any questions about our services or suicide cleanup? We’re here to help and will always be happy to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call any time of day, 24-7, at 770-766-4562 and our experienced team will be happy to help.

Do Suicides Really Go Up During the Holidays?

Despite our popular cultural myth that suicide goes up along with the Christmas trees and tinsel, this is not actually true. Contrary to the images of George on the bridge in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” during the holidays when friends and family gather closer together, suicide actually drops to its lowest point all year. This may be because hibernating away at home during the winter months is more socially acceptable or that we have less energy to carry out plans while it’s cold and bleak outside.

When do suicides go up?

The time of year when suicide peaks is actually in the spring and early summer. Though experts aren’t entirely sure why this is, they suspect it’s because of the greater disparity between the new life all around us and the dark thoughts of hopelessness running through the minds of those who struggle with thoughts of suicide. Feeling like there is no future when one is surrounded by new growth can bring our own feelings into greater clarity. As the sun comes out and the weather warms, we also experience more energy and determination some may use to carry out the suicidal thoughts they’ve harbored through cooler months.

During the spring months, pollen counts also climb as plants bloom, biologically altering the moods of those who are prone to such alterations. It may exasperate the mood swings people already experience, perhaps enough to push those experiencing mental disorders into greater disconnection and despair.

Why is this myth dangerous?

The danger of this myth that suicides go up in the winter is we are focused on prevention during the time of year when suicides actually drop and neglect to reach out to other people during the warmer spring months when they go up. Though there isn’t one reason people commit suicide, a combination of weather and altered social experiences can certainly alter one’s inclination and we need to be focused on reaching out to others all year round.

If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, they are at great risk for suicide:

  • Giving away their possessions
  • Talking and thinking about death a lot
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Clinical depression
  • History of suicide attempts
  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Putting their affairs in order
  • Withdrawal from friends and family

Get Support

There are many hotlines, support groups, and counselors ready to help those struggling with thoughts of suicide and their friends and family. If you need support, please call or text one of these numbers:

Fulton County Behavioral Access & Information Line
(404) 612-1211 (M-F 8:30-5pm)
Access line to learn how to handle mental health situations and get referrals to mental health services

Georgia Crisis & Access Line
1-800-715-4225
For Georgia residents wanting access to suicide prevention care

Crisis Text Line
Text START to 741-741
24/7 volunteer-led text support for people in crisis

Atlanta Suicide in a Vehicle: What Do We Do with the Car?

Experiencing the death of a loved one by suicide is a terrible experience to endure. Being the one responsible for cleaning up after it is harder still. The aftermath can be overwhelming when going through shock and grief and when there are biohazards involved, it can be even more unbearable.

Many suicides in Atlanta take place in an automobile and once the police have filed their report and the coroner has taken the body away, the family is left to take care of the vehicular damages left behind. What do you do?

Can’t I have an auto detail shop in Atlanta clean the car?

In order to thoroughly clean the car and bring it back to a usable state, the suicide cleanup needs to begin as quickly as possible. It is tempting, therefore, to simply bring the car to an auto detail shop and let them do the job. This puts all the staff there in serious jeopardy, however, with all the blood and body fluids carrying blood-borne pathogens and bacteria. An Atlanta auto-detailing shop will also not be trained on how to clean and dispose of medical waste nor do they have the skills to take apart the car in order to clean every nook and cranny.

Will auto insurance pay for the suicide cleanup?

Most auto insurance companies will pay for suicide cleanup of your car. With no money upfront, a professionally trained and experienced biohazard cleanup team will remove and properly dispose of all infected porous surfaces such as leather, fabric, and carpet. These materials cannot be completely cleaned and have to be replaced. Other non-porous surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized.

If the biohazard remediation company’s quote comes in close to what the car is worth (taking age and condition into account), the auto insurance company may decide to total the car. In that case, they will either pay you the money to replace the car (minus the deductible) or let you keep the car with a salvage title. It is then your responsibility to have it cleaned and then choose whether to keep or sell the car.

Where in Atlanta can I sell the car?

If you choose to sell the car in Atlanta, you can sell it to a private party, turn it in as a trade-in, or sell it to an auction house. There is no law in Georgia requiring you to disclose a person has died in a used vehicle. However, if you are asked questions and you deceive the buyer, you could be held liable for their related health issues down the road if the car wasn’t properly cleaned. (Consult a lawyer for advice.)

Would an auction house in Atlanta really take the vehicle?

Auction houses in the Atlanta area sell cars as-is in all sorts of conditions and it’s up to the winning bid to decide what to do with the vehicle. As a seller, you can either sell it directly to the auction house to sell it to someone else or you can sell it through them on consignment and give them a commission once it’s sold. Either way, once it’s signed over to them, it’s off your hands. Two such auction houses in the Atlanta, Georgia area are:

Georgia Auto Auctions
IAA Auctions

Though dealing with the aftermath of a suicide is immensely difficult, dealing with the aftermath of where it took place doesn’t have to be. Georgia Clean is a professional suicide cleanup company that provides suicide cleanup and vehicle recovery services in the Atlanta area. Call us if we can be of help at (770) 766-4562