September 10th is marked every year as world suicide prevention day. This year’s theme is Creating Hope through Action. The goal is to reach people who are struggling with suicide before it’s too late.
Suicide is a major public health concern. It is ranked the leading cause of death among young people. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
Warning signs include:
-Talking about wanting to die
-Talking about feeling empty or hopeless or having no reason to live
-Talking about feeling trapped
-Feeling unbearable emotional or physical pain
-Talking about being a burden to others
-Withdrawing from family and friends
-Giving away important possessions
-Saying goodbye to friends and family
-Putting affairs in order, such as making a will
-Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
Suicide is complicated and tragic but often preventable with timely, evidence-based, and low-cost interventions.
- Speak if you are worried that someone may be contemplating suicide.
- Respond quickly in time of crisis – call an emergency line.
- Offer help and support – be empathetic and listen.
- Get professional help for them
- Remove potential means of suicide
- Follow up. Keep them under surveillance.
Check on someone today. All of us – family members, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials, and governments – should take action to prevent suicide.