We've all had some run in with Suicide, whether we know someone who has lost their life, someone who has contemplated it or even heard stories of the after effects it's left on the families of people who have dealt with it. Although it is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 years old, suicidal thoughts affects people across all backgrounds, genders and ages. Somewhere in the world, approximately every 40 seconds, someone dies from suicide. Every 40 seconds, that's almost 800,000 people a year and the number is constantly rising. Suicidal behavior is not caused by a singular problem or traumatic event that someone may be dealing with, it is often the result of built up pain, depression and other other circumstances. Risk factors vary and may occur in combination or change over time.
According to research, although 46% of people who died via suicide had been diagnosed with a mental health condition, 90% experienced symptoms. More often than not, suicidal individuals exhibit warning signs. Most people either do not know how to respond to these warnings, or are unable to recognize them. National Suicide Prevention Month is meant to bring awareness to these signs as well as educate people on how it can be prevented.
Prevention is the goal, and in order to reach that goal we need to improve education about suicide, eliminate the stigma surrounding suicide, and make people aware of the signs.
Being able to identify warning signs and risk factors is very important and can be a deterrent for suicide attempts. Those who suffer from suicidal thoughts often feel alone, as though their pain is too much to manage.
If loved ones are able to recognize signs, it may them get the help they need and save their lives.
Warning signs include:
Feeling like a burden,
Extreme mood swings,
Making plans for suicide,
Increased use of substances,
Sleeping too little or too much,
Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain,
Speaking or posting about wanting to die,
Expressing hopelessness, or feeling empty,
Giving away personal items or wrapping up loose ends,
Looking for a way to access a weapon or other lethal means,
Unhealthy sleep patterns; too much or too little,
Here is a list of ways you can support the people in your life from the risk of suicide:
Make them feel safe.
If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can start by reaching out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). But don't stop there, do not be afraid to ask for help, from a professional or a loved one. We are here to help.