Suicide Prevention Week: What You Should Know

Suicide Prevention Week: What You Should Know

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beach-couple-wander.jpgSuicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24 in the United States, with more than 33,000 people of all ages ending their lives every year. Given these statistics, it is important that people know the warning signs of suicide, some prevention techniques and how to find hope and help for yourself or a loved one.

A Mental Health Minute by Cristina Frick

Common warning signs for potential suicide include the obvious — hopelessness, desperation, intense anxiety, and expressing a wish to die or suicide threat — but also the not so obvious, like sleep problems, increased alcohol or drug use, and withdrawal from family and friends. It is important to always take seriously any statements about serious depression or feelings of suicide.  

People who are feeling suicidal will usually exhibit warning signs or express their feelings to someone in some way, so it is important to pay attention. Giving away possessions, unexpected rage, and a sudden lifiting of prolonged depression (because the person may mistakenly feel they have found a “way out”) are also signs of suicide that should be taken seriously.  Impulsivity plays a role in some suicides, so an impulsive personality in the severely depressed should be closely monitored.
 
The good news is that suicide can be prevented, and people who are feeling suicidal can find hope and help.

If you are concerned that someone you know is feeling suicidal, tell them you are concerned, give examples of behavior that is making you concerned, and let them know you are willing to listen. Avoid “arguing” the person out of suicide, as confrontation such as this may be upsetting. The person needs love and understanding. Also ask the person if they are seeing a therapist or taking medication. Many cases of suicide occur because of untreated psychiatric disorders. Be involved in helping the person to find appropriate treatment. (The suicidal individual will likely need continued support after beginning to see a therapist. Take notice of any negative reactions to psychiatric medications.) In a suicidal crisis, never leave the anguished person alone.

If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out to a family member or friend, or go to an emergency room. You can also call 911 or the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Remove all means of committing suicide from the environment. There is help and hope available to help you find joy in your life or simply feel better.

Hope and Help

Although you may be feeling overwhelmed, suicidal feelings can be lifted with help. Here are a few suggestions to give you, or someone you know, hope:

  1. Find a therapist who can help
  2. Spend time with people who make you feel positive, and don’t be alone if you are feeling suicidal. Please remember how much you are loved by your family and friends.
  3. Attend religious services or contemplate the possibility that God loves you for who you are.
  4. Develop a routine for yourself every day.
  5. Give your medications to someone who can dispense them to you, if you have thoughts of overdosing.
  6. Remove dangerous objects from the home.
  7. Spend time in nature.
  8. Get enough sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition.
  9. Do things that you enjoy, and don’t do things you find unpleasant until the suicidal feelings have passed.

Please remember how much you are loved and cared about, and know that contemplating suicide doesn’t make you a bad person. Remember this: Suicide is a permanent solution to feelings that are temporary. Please seek help now, and find help for this particular moment’s problems.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are feeling depressed or think you might be suffering from a mental illness, find a therapist in your state or call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). While Good News Network does not provide counseling services, there is help and hope available at these two numbers from caring, kind individuals wanting to listen and to help. Please know that suicide is *NOT* the answer for your pain, and there are so many people who care about you and want to help. You are special and loved- please *DO NOT* commit suicide. You *CAN* find help and *WILL* feel better. I love all of you, and I am thinking about you and praying for your health and happiness!

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Cristina Frick has been a contributing writer and volunteer at the Good News Network since 2006. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and plans to gradute in December. View a list of all of Cristina’s articles here — including previous columns in her Mental Health Minute series.  

(Photo courtesy of Sun Star) 

COMMENTS

  1. To everyone reading this article who may be feeling suicidal: You are special and loved- please *DO NOT* commit suicide- please know that suicide is NOT the answer for your pain- you can and will find hope and help! Your suicidal feelings are temporary- so many people love you, and God loves you:-)

  2. Also, please check out http://www.givesmehope.com/ if you are feeling depressed- it is a wonderful, hope-inspiring site. My cousin’s beautiful baby boy Sebastian was born on Friday- I thank God for him, and babies give everyone hope:-)

    To everyone reading this: you guys are all wonderful and special! Please find a therapist in your state at the APA website if you are feeling depressed or call the hotlines above if you are feeling suicidal, and please *DO NOT* commit suicide. Please know that suicide is *NOT* the answer for your pain- you are wonderful and special, and you *WILL* find hope and help- God bless you and everyone you care about with health and happiness:-)

  3. We love you all, and God bless you- please know there is *HOPE* and *HELP* available!!!:-) Please *DO NOT* commit suicide, and please know that it is *NOT* the answer for your pain. You are loved!!!:-)

  4. We love you all so much, and God loves you so much- you are all special, unique, and loved and have so much to contribute to this world!:-) We all thank God for you, and we don’t know what in the world we would do without you all in our lives- we love you- God bless you all!:-)

  5. We love you all- *PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE IF YOU ARE FEELING DEPRESSED OR SUICIDAL*- there is help and hope available! Please *DO NOT* commit suicide and please know that suicide is *NOT* the answer for your pain. These painful feelings *WILL* pass- we love you!!!:-)