On the 10th of September, it is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is a day to create public awareness for one of the world’s largest causes of premature and unnecessary death.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 800 000 people commit suicide every year! That is one person every 40 seconds. The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is: Working Together to Prevent Suicide. It is a reminder that suicide is not only a personal issue, but something which individuals around you could help with. No person should suffer alone. It is time for people to reach out to individuals in need.
The way to prevent suicide is through the recognition of warning signs. It is also knowing how to respond to them. If you believe that a friend or family member is suicidal, you can play a role in suicide prevention by pointing out the alternatives, showing that you care, and getting a doctor or psychologist involved.
Some signs to look out for:
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.
Withdrawing from others:
Withdrawing from friends and family and increasing social isolation or a desire to be left alone.
Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving and unsafe sex. Also, taking unnecessary risks as if they have a “death wish.”
These are just a few things to look out for. Taking the time to notice them and helping could make a big difference in the person’s life.
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