September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day
This site is a local young man’s gravesite that was the result of a suicide. He went to school with my sons and every time I drive by my heart goes out to the family. When I heard on the radio the other day that World Suicide Day was coming up on September 10th I had to take a picture and share. Maybe we can prevent another one from happening. There have been at least 2 in the past several years in the town I live in and they both were friends with my sons.
According to WHO almost 1 million people a year die from suicide throughout the world. In the last 45 years alone suicide has increased a whopping 60%. That’s a lot! It is the top 3 leading cause of death of those aged 15-45 in some countries. Suicide rates were among the highest in male elderly but that has changed to the younger age set. Mental disorders are a major factor in all these suicides. Other factors include: Alcoholism, family history, terminal illness, stressful event or loss of someone close, (does not have to be death, the above ones I believe were break-ups with girlfriends), exposure to others doing it and a history of trauma or abuse.
So what signs can we see if someone is suicidal?
- Lack of interest in their daily activities
- Decline in grades if in school
- Misconduct in school or work
- Repeated and unexplained absent from work or school
- Excessive use of drugs, alcohol or smoking
- Withdrawal from friends
- Self hate
- Frequent complaints about not feeling well – headaches, stomaches and fatigue.
- Talking about suicide – saying that they wish they were dead
- Loss of independence in elderly
- Getting affairs in order – saying goodbyes and making out a will and giving away prized possessions
- Sudden calmness after being depressed- means they may have decided to go through with committing suicide
What can you do to help?
- Talk to them if you suspect they are suicidal – ask what you can do to help or if they want to seek help
- Let them know they are NOT alone
- Let them know you may NOT understand it but are THERE For them
- LISTEN – Sometimes they need someone to just LISTEN
- Be sympathetic and NON-judgmental
- Ask if they have a suicide plan so you can access the risk
- Do everything in your power to get them professional help – call a crisis line for advice
- Call them daily to see how they are – don’t wait for them to call you
The Hotline numbers to call:
Let’s see if we can prevent one more suicide from happening today. Do you have more to add to the lists above?