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SUICIDE PREVENTION



If your friend or family member is considering suicide, there’s plenty you can do to help save a life. Suicide should be seen as a desperate attempt to escape suffering and the unbearable pain.


According to WHO approximately ~1 million people die each year from suicide. It’s difficult for you to understand why people commit suicide, unless you have experienced the grips of depression yourself. When clenched by feelings of self hatred, hopelessness,helplessness and worthlessness , a suicidal person can’t see any other way other than death.They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can’t see one.



The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them. If you believe that a friend or family member is suicidal, you can play a role in suicide prevention by pointing out the alternatives, showing that you care, and getting a psychiatrist or psychologist involved.


Warning signs for suicide

  • Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off dead.”


  • Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.


  • Self-destructive behavior – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a “death wish.”


  • Seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs.


  • Hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide. No hope for the future – Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped. Belief that things will never get better or change. People who feel hopeless may talk about “unbearable” feelings, predict a bleak future, and say that they have nothing to look forward to.


  • Sudden personality changes, such as switching from outgoing to withdrawn or well-behaved to rebellious.


  • Loss of interest in day-to-day activities, neglect his or her appearance, changes in eating or sleeping habits


  • Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden (“Everyone would be better off without me”).


  • Getting affairs in order – Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members


  • Saying goodbye – Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.


  • Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.


  • Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.


These signals are even more dangerous if the person has a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, suffers from alcohol dependence, has previously attempted suicide, or has a family history of suicide.


If you spot the warning signs of suicide in someone you care about, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to say anything. What if you’re wrong? What if the person gets angry? In such situations, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable or afraid. But anyone who talks about suicide or shows other warning signs needs immediate help—the sooner the better.


Respond quickly in a crisis!


If a friend or family member tells you that he or she is thinking about death or suicide, it’s important to evaluate the immediate danger the person is in. Those at the highest risk for committing suicide in the near future have a specific suicide PLAN, the MEANS to carry out the plan, a TIME SET for doing it, and an INTENTION to do it.


The following questions can help you assess the immediate risk for suicide:


Do you have a suicide plan? (PLAN)

How have you thought of doing it ? (MEANS)

Do you know when you would do it? (TIME SET)

Do you intend to take your own life? (INTENTION)


Level of Suicide Risk


Low

Some suicidal thoughts. No suicide plan. Says he or she won’t attempt suicide.

Moderate

Suicidal thoughts. Vague plan that isn’t very lethal. Says he or she won’t attempt suicide.

High

Suicidal thoughts. Specific plan that is highly lethal. Says he or she won’t attempt suicide.

Severe

Suicidal thoughts. Specific plan that is highly lethal. Says he or she will attempt suicide.


If a suicide attempt seems imminent, call a local crisis center, or take the person to emergency/ casualty of Hospital immediately. Remove guns, drugs, knives, and other potentially lethal objects from the vicinity but do not, under any circumstances, leave a suicidal person alone.

If you’re thinking about suicide, please call 18002738255


Talking to a friend or family member about their suicidal thoughts and feelings can be extremely difficult for anyone. But if you’re unsure whether someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask. You can’t make a person suicidal by showing that you care. In fact, giving a suicidal person the opportunity to express his or her feelings can provide relief from loneliness and pent-up negative feelings, and may prevent a suicide attempt.


How to talk to a suicidal person: what to say?


“I have been feeling concerned about you lately.”

“Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.”

“I wanted to check on you because you haven’t seemed yourself lately.”

Questions you can ask when someone is expressing suicidal thoughts...


“When did you begin feeling like this?”

“Did something happen to make you start feeling this way?”

“How can I best support you right now?”

“Have you thought about getting help?”


“You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.”

“I know it’s difficult now, but the way you’re feeling will change. Things will get better.”

“I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.”



90 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from one or more mentalhealth issues. Depression in particular plays a huge role in suicide. The difficulty that suicidal people have imagining a solution to their suffering is due in part to the distorted thinking caused by depression.



Suicide in teenagers

Teenage suicide is a serious and growing problem. The teenage years can be emotionally turbulent and stressful. Teenagers face pressures to perform, succeed and fit in. They may struggle with identity crisis, self-esteem issues, self-doubt, and feelings of being left out. For some, this leads to suicide.


Risk factors for teenage suicide include:


  1. Childhood abuse

  2. Recent traumatic event

  3. Lack of a support network

  4. Availability of a gun

  5. Hostile social or school environment

  6. Exposure to other teen suicides

  7. Violent or rebellious behavior, bullying, running away

  8. Drug and alcohol use

  9. Unusual neglect of personal appearance

  10. Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the academic performance

  11. Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, such as stomach pains, headaches, or tiredness.

  12. Rejecting praise or rewards



When talking to a suicidal person


Do’s


Be yourself.

Let the person know you care, that they are not alone. Finding the right words are not nearly as important as showing your concern.


Be a good Listener.

Let your friend or loved one vent and unload their feelings. No matter how negative the conversation seems, the fact that it is taking place is a positive sign.


Be sympathetic and non-judgmental.

The suicidal person is doing the right thing by talking about their feelings, no matter how difficult it may be to hear.


Offer hope.

Reassure your loved one that help is available and that the suicidal feelings are temporary. Let the person know that their life is important to you.


Take the person seriously.

If a suicidal person says things like, “I’m so depressed, I can’t go on,” ask if they’re having thoughts of suicide. You’re allowing them to share their pain with you, not putting ideas in their head.


Dont’s


Don’t Argue with the suicidal person.

Avoid saying things like: “You have so much to live for,” “Your suicide will hurt your family,” or “Just snap out of it.”


Don’t Act shocked or lecture on the value of life, or argue that suicide is wrong.


Don’t Promise confidentiality or be sworn to secrecy. A life is at stake and you may need to speak to a mental health professional in order to keep the suicidal person safe. If you promise to keep your discussions secret, you may have to break your word. Remember a friend who is angry with you but alive is preferable to a dead friend.


Don’t Offer quick fixes to solve your loved one’s problems, give advice, or make them feel like they have to justify their suicidal feelings. It is not about how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting your friend or loved one.




It takes a lot of courage to help someone who is suicidal. Witnessing a loved one dealing with thoughts about ending his or her own life can stir up many difficult emotions. As you’re helping a suicidal person, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Find someone that you trust—a friend, family member or counselor—to talk to about your feelings and get support of your own.


help a suicidal person:


Get professional help.

Do everything in your power to get a suicidal person the help he or she needs. Call a crisis line for advice and referrals. Encourage the person to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility, or take them to a doctor’s appointment.


Follow-up on treatment.

If the doctor prescribes medication, make sure your friend or loved one takes it as directed. Be aware of possible side effects and be sure to notify the physician if the person seems to be getting worse. It often takes time and persistence to find the medication or therapy that’s right for a particular person.


Be proactive.

Those contemplating suicide often don’t believe they can be helped, so you may have to be more proactive at offering assistance. Saying, “Call me if you need anything” is too vague and not enough. Don’t wait for the person to call you or even to return your calls. Drop by, call again, invite the person out.


Encourage positive lifestyle changes

such as a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and getting out in the sun or into nature for at least 30 minutes each day. Exercise is also extremely important as it releases endorphins (natural antidepressants in body) relieves stress, and promotes emotional well-being.


Make a safety plan.

Help the person develop a set of steps he or she promises to follow during a suicidal crisis. It should identify any triggers that may lead to a suicidal crisis, such as an anniversary of a loss, alcohol, or stress from relationships. Also include contact numbers for the person’s doctor or therapist, as well as friends and family members who will help in an emergency.



Continue your support.

Even after the immediate suicidal crisis has passed, stay in touch with the person, periodically checking in or dropping by. Your support is vital to ensure your friend or loved one remains on the recovery track.




NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HELPLINE 18002738255


AASRA - 91-9820466726


Connecting NGO

1800 843 4353 (Toll-Free)

9922001122


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