I ‘m sure we all know or know of someone who has either attempted suicide or has died by suicide. We may have even had suicidal ideations or been suicidal ourselves. It is painfully sad and scary to be the victim, the family member, the friend or the partner in that situation. According to statistics, approximately 800,000 people die to suicide every year, that is one person every 40 seconds. In my opinion, that is too much. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. A day to raise awareness about suicide, the effects it has on others, and how we can play a part in reducing the number of deaths by suicide in the world.
There are so many ways we can help make a difference. Educate ourselves and others. Be supportive and nonjudgmental. Open up about our own stories and experiences. Offer a helping hand or a listening ear to those who are struggling. Make sure to check in with your friends and family members, even if they seem totally okay. We need to learn that just because someone is smiling and says that they’re okay, they may not be. So much can be hidden behind a smile. I used to think I was being annoying by constantly asking my friends if they were okay, if they needed anything, or by telling them that I was there for them. But the truth is, you can never tell someone that you care too much. You may have been the only person that told them you cared that day, so don’t worry about being annoying because personally, I would rather have someone continuously asking if I was okay than not care at all.
In most cases, people may not know what signs to look for in someone who is struggling. Below I have a short list of how to recognize symptoms or warning signs of suicide:- excessive moodiness or sadness- hopefullness- suddenly becoming calm after a long period of depression- withdrawal (friends, social outings, activities they used to enjoy)- changes in personality or appearance- dangerous behaviour (e.g. reckless driving, increased use of alcohol or drugs)- making preparations (giving away personal possessions, saying goodbye to people)- threatening suicide
Obviously, not all of the items listed are definite signs of suicide but they do give us a good idea of how to identify if someone’s behaviour is changing or if they are experiencing something out of the norm. So please, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs or has been acting different than normal, please seek help and check up on others. You could be saving a life.