Every 40 seconds someone takes their life; that’s almost 800,000 people a year around the world. India reports 10.4 suicides per 100,000 people in a year. The truth, however, is that suicide prevention is a reality!
Most people do not want to die, they are just unable to deal with the pain.
Talking openly about suicide can save a life. Not talking about it makes it worse. Your action of reaching out to a friend, acquaintance, neighbour, co-worker can restore hope and save a life. Take action; reach out and rekindle hope. Do your bit for suicide prevention. The points below tell you how!
RECOGNISE THE SIGNS THAT A PERSON IS SUICIDAL:
– Threatening to kill themselves
– A person expresses feeling trapped; that there is no way out
– Talking, writing, posting about death, dying or suicide
– Planning ways of killing self; research, accessing pills, pesticides, weapons or other means
– Hopelessness; nothing to look forward to
– Withdrawing from friends, family, or society
– Increased use of alcohol or drugs
– Anxiety, agitation, rage or continued feeling of anger
– Loss of purpose or meaning in life – could be sudden change in life
PEOPLE, AT A GREATER RISK FOR SUICIDE, INCLUDE:
– Those who may have a mental illness
– People with poor physical health and disabilities
– Those who have attempted suicide or harmed themselves in the past
– Those facing difficult life circumstances particularly with relationships or their health
– People who have experienced physical or sexual abuse as a child
– People who have recently experienced a suicide by someone else
HOW TO APPROACH SOMEONE WHO IS SUICIDAL
– Be patient and calm while the person is talking about their feelings
– Listen to the person without expressing judgment, accepting what they are saying without agreeing or disagreeing with their behavior or point of view
– Ask open-ended questions (i.e. questions that cannot be simply answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’) to find out more about the suicidal thoughts and feelings and the problems behind these
– Ensure that you express empathy for how the person is feeling
WHAT NOT TO DO
– Argue or debate with the person about their thoughts of suicide
– Being judgmental about suicide
– Use guilt or threats to prevent suicide
– Communicate a lack of interest or negative attitude through your body language.
– ‘Daring them to ‘just do it’
– Attempt to give the person a diagnosis of a mental illness
(This story is written by Tasneem Raja. For more health-related stories, visit HealthShots.com)