‘creating hope through action’
International Suicide Prevention Day is on 10 September each year hosted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and provides the opportunity for people, across the World to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
Every 40 seconds someone takes their life; that’s almost 800,000 people a year around the world, with over 75% of suicides occurring in low-and-middle-income countries. Suicide is a global concern and a serious public health issue in every country; however, suicides are preventable.
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death.
But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can’t see one.
Suicide warning signs include:
Talking about suicide – Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off dead.”
Seeking out lethal means – Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
No hope for the future – Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped (“There’s no way out”). Belief that things will never get better or change.
Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden (“Everyone would be better off without me”).
Getting affairs in order – Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Saying goodbye – Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.
Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Self-destructive behavior – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a “death wish.”
Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.
Read More at helpguide.org
If you are worried about someone talk to them:
Be yourself. Let the person know you care, that they are not alone. Finding the right words are not nearly as important as showing your concern.
Listen. Let your friend or loved one vent and unload their feelings. No matter how negative the conversation seems, the fact that it is taking place is a positive sign.
Be sympathetic and non-judgmental. The suicidal person is doing the right thing by talking about their feelings, no matter how difficult it may be to hear.
Offer hope. Reassure your loved one that help is available and that the suicidal feelings are temporary. Let the person know that their life is important to you.
Take the person seriously. If a suicidal person says things like, “I’m so depressed, I can’t go on,” ask if they’re having thoughts of suicide. You’re allowing them to share their pain with you, not putting ideas in their head.
Argue with the suicidal person. Avoid saying things like: “You have so much to live for,” “Your suicide will hurt your family,” or “Just snap out of it.”
Act shocked, lecture on the value of life, or argue that suicide is wrong.
Promise confidentiality or be sworn to secrecy. A life is at stake and you may need to speak to a mental health professional in order to keep the suicidal person safe. If you promise to keep your discussions secret, you may have to break your word.
Offer ways to fix your loved one’s problems, give advice, or make them feel like they have to justify their suicidal feelings. It is not about how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting your friend or loved one.
Blame yourself. You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Your friend or loved one’s happiness, or lack thereof, is not your responsibility.
If you are feeling suicidal talk to someone you trust and seek help:
Help for suicidal thoughts
If you’re feeling like you want to die, it’s important to tell someone.
Help and support is available right now if you need it. You do not have to struggle with difficult feelings alone.
Phone a helpline
These free helplines are there to help when you’re feeling down or desperate.
Unless it says otherwise, they’re open 24 hours a day, every day.
You can also call these helplines for advice if you’re worried about someone else.Information:
Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Information:
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page Information:
Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – 9am to midnight every day
Text 07860 039967
Email email@example.com Information:
Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone billInformation:
SOS Silence of Suicide – for everyone
Call 0300 1020 505 – 4pm to midnight every day
Message a text line
If you do not want to talk to someone over the phone, these text lines are open 24 hours a day, every day.Information:
Shout Crisis Text Line – for everyone
Text “SHOUT” to 85258Information:
YoungMinds Crisis Messenger – for people under 19
Text “YM” to 85258