Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources

Posted by  | March 18, 2014 Educational Resources |

Suicidal people suffer from inner turmoil that leaves them feeling isolated and hopeless. Many people who struggle with suicidal tendencies fail to seek the help they so desperately need. The majority of suicidal people do not want to die; they just want to stop the pain. Suicide prevention starts with the sufferer recognizing the warning signs and admitting that they have a problem. Family and friends should also pay close attention to these warning signs to ensure the sufferer finds the help they need. Simply talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings can help save a life.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly a million people die each year from suicide. Many people question what drives people to commit suicide. Unfortunately, the answer may not be readily clear for those stuck in the vices of depression and despair. Many factors drive people to feeling hopeless, which leaves sufferers blinded to all other options. Effective treatment does exist that can help prevent sufferers from attempting to take their own lives.

Noticing the Signs

The majority of suicidal individuals give warning signs of their intentions. Friends, family, and coworkers can recognize these warnings signs and respond quickly. Suicidal people will likely respond to those they trust before those they have just met. Therefore, family and friends can play an active role in suicide prevention by showing they care, pointing out the alternatives, and getting a qualified professional involved.

Many suicidal people talk about killing or harming themselves before they attempt it. Pay close attention to what the suicidal person buys, such as guns, knives, pills, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. Suicidal people may voice their feelings of despair and hopelessness. They may display dramatic mood swings and other sudden personality changes. Dwelling on the past and the future may also lead others to believe that the sufferer may take their own life. A telling sign of suicidal thoughts is withdrawing from others or doing reckless things, such as abusing drugs and alcohol. Seek immediate help if these symptoms or signs appear.

Precautions You Can Take

Family and friends can prevent sufferers from committing suicide by intervening immediately. Seek help as soon as symptoms or warning signs arise. Talk to the sufferer and ask questions, even if it causes discomfort. It can be difficult to talk to a suicidal person about their problems, but the best way to prevent them from killing themselves or causing themselves harm is to simply ask. Nobody can make a person suicidal by showing empathy. In fact, giving the sufferer an emotional outlet to express themselves may even prevent a suicide attempt.

Start with asking simple questions while disengaging from heated disputes. Suicidal people may put up a front or show symptoms of denial. In these cases, offer ways to fix their problems or give advice even if they get defensive. Give them contact information in case they feel like talking at a later date. Do anything possible to comfort them. Family and friends should also attempt to remove any objects in their possession that could cause the sufferer harm. Offer to contact a qualified medical professional to find a resolution, especially in situations involving an immediate threat of a suicide attempt.

What to Do After an Attempt

Suicidal people who survived attempt should carry out certain steps to ensure that it never happens again. Recovery from negative thoughts about killing or harming oneself may feel liberating; however, it may not guarantee prevention of a relapse. Therefore, sufferers should formulate a safety plan to reduce the risk of a future suicide attempt. A safety plan should consist of information that will alert the sufferer of pending suicidal feelings or thoughts, indicators to seek additional treatment, and contact information of a qualified professional in case a relapse does occur. Sufferers should build a support system around them consisting of trustworthy family, friends, health professionals, and other recovering sufferers. One of the most important aspects of recovery is getting back to ordinary living. It may be difficult to get back into the motions of everyday life, but the rewards will come swiftly with persistence.

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