AY About You wants to help our readers take care of themselves and manage stress with our weekly feature, Wellness Wednesday. Each Wednesday, we will have an article about health and wellness to promote all around well-being. That means physically, mentally and emotionally.
Today’s Wellness Wednesday covers a topic that is often considered taboo but needs to be talked about more: suicide. This article will focus on suicide warning signs and prevention.
“Suicide is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death for those ages 10 to 24,” says Lauren English, licensed professional counselor and business development representative with Pinnacle Pointe Hospital.
Sometimes the signs can be right in front of us, so it is important to pay attention.
For example, people who talk about suicide are 30 times more likely to complete it.
Phrases such as “I’d be better off dead” and “No one would care if I was around anymore” are examples of phrases that suicidal individuals might say. Regardless, pay attention to those talking about their own death, or taking their own life.
Also, pay attention to those with previous suicide attempts or previous instances of self harm, or a history of suicidal ideation.
People should also be on the lookout for an increased sense of hopelessness, withdrawing from friends and family, increased risk-taking behaviors or giving away personal possessions, along with significant changes in mood from people that you believe may be contemplating suicide.
English stresses that a suicidal person does not have to exhibit all of these signs– if you see ANY of these signs in an individual, seek help.
If adults are noticing these signs in teens and young adults, another way to prevent suicide is to express their concern.
“We often worry that if we talk about it, it’ll increase the likelihood of committing suicide,” English says. “The truth is, if we say something, this can be the very thing that saves them and they’re going to feel more likely open to talking about it because they can sense your care and concern.”
Continue to maintain a connection with anyone that you think might be suicidal. Make sure that they are safe, pay attention to who they are talking to and what they are watching. And perhaps most importantly, be compassionate while trusting your best judgement.
Prioritize the safety of the individual that you’re concerned about by taking away sharp objects in the home, making sure that they are safe while unsupervised, or supervise them if you feel as though they are unsafe, or in a position to harm themselves.
Suicide is a tragic ending to a loved one’s life. Hopefully, with these signs and tips, many more suicides will be prevented.