Suicide Awareness & Prevention: Knowing The Signs

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Last night I heard about the passing of another high school classmate by suicide. Each year globally, more people die by suicide than homicide and war combined. Can you believe that? Another shocking suicide fact is that it’s the second leading cause of death in 10-24-year-olds. Yes, children as young as 10 (even 8) are committing suicide. The reasons vary from depression, bullying, guilt, mental illness and so on and so forth. Often times we think we are immune from knowing someone close to us who may be suicidal or even think we can’t ever get to that point either. I know that each time I’ve heard of someone I knew committing suicide recently, one reoccurring thought was “wow, I would’ve never known.” Most times, people will choose to suffer in silence. Not everyone will outright say “I want to kill myself”, but most people will give some sort of warning sign.

Warning Signs

Excessive drug or alcohol use

Uncontrollable anger or sadness

Expressing feeling worthless and without purpose

Loss of interest in things they normally love

Withdrawing from friends and family

Expressing that they feel like a burden to those close to them

Not sleeping or sleeping too much

Neglecting personal hygiene

Self-injury

Increased aggression towards others

Reckless behavior

Giving away possessions

Saying “goodbye” in a nostalgic or somber matter

Expressing that that “can’t take it anymore”

The list is endless.

I know how it feels to wake up almost everyday wanting to end it all. Feeling like life was becoming too much and that the only relief would be for it to be over. You don’t have to suffer in silence, and you definitely don’t have to go through it alone.

Suicide Prevention Resources:

24-Hour Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

LifeLine Crisis Chat

Me: Feel free to reach out to me through the Contact Me tab

How You Can Help

It can be hard, overwhelming, and sometimes even draining to talk to someone who you think may be suicidal. We often don’t know the right words to say and can sometimes end up making people feel worse if we’re not careful. Some helpful ways to bring of the conversation with someone is to express the concern you feel and why. Try not to sound accusatory in your approach and definitely don’t try a guilt trip. ASK if they have been having any ill thoughts and if there is any way you can support them through this time. Also, don’t offer to help or be an ear if you won’t follow through. That can be very damaging to someone who already feels worthless, hopeless, and as if they are a burden. Let the person know that they aren’t alone and express empathy. Also, don’t compare their situation to yours or someone similar because everyone is different. It’s sometimes second-nature to want to jump right in and offer solutions and quick fixes, this isn’t helpful. Instead of giving advice on solutions and fixes, assure the person that you will be there throughout their healing process if necessary. Only offer advice if requested. Most importantly, follow up. If a week or two has gone by without you revisiting the conversation with them, bring it up. Suicidal thoughts may come and go or they may be persistent. Again, just remind the person that you are there if need be.I hope this message helped someone.

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