• Regina Rhodes

Your Suicide Prevention Skills Matter: Never Stop Improving

We all aid in suicide prevention. Having open conversations and checking on your loved ones are just a few ways to raise awareness and save lives.

Why Someone May Experience Suicide Ideation

While many factors can influence a person's decision to commit suicide, the most common one is severe depression.

Depression can make people feel great emotional pain and loss of hope, making them unable to see another way to relieve the pain other than ending their own life. To those who are not in the holds of suicidal depression and despair, it’s challenging to understand what drives so many individuals to take their own lives. But a suicidal person is in so much pain that he or she can see no other option.

As the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death (after accidents) for people aged 10 to 34, suicide is a serious public health problem with men being more than three times more likely than women to take their lives.

Yet, suicide is preventable. Knowing the risk factors and recognizing the warning signs for suicide can help prevent suicide.

Common Myths Surrounding Suicide

Myth: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.

Fact: Almost everyone who attempts suicide has given some clue or warning.

Myth: If someone is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them.

Fact: Suicide is a way to make the pain stop rather than the actual want of death—and the impulse to end their life does not last forever.

Myth: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.

Fact: You don’t give someone lethal ideas by talking about suicide. Rather, the opposite is true. Talking openly and honestly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can help save a life.

Warning signs of suicide

  • Talking or writing a lot about death or dying

  • Seeking out weapons and/or drugs to cause harm

  • Previously attempted suicide

  • Experience of hopelessness

  • Self-loathing, feelings of self-hatred

  • Getting affairs in order, giving away possessions with no logical explanation

  • Saying goodbyes to family and friends

  • Withdrawing from community and others

What You Can Do

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:

Plan: Do you have a suicide plan?

Means: Do you have what you need to carry out your plan (pills, gun, etc.)?

Time-set: Do you know when you would do it?

Intention: Do you intend to take your own life?

If a suicide attempt seems imminent, call a local crisis center, dial 911, or take the person to an emergency room. If you keep guns, drugs, knives, and other potentially lethal objects at home, store them safely or move all items elsewhere until the crisis has passed.

How We Can Help Ourselves

Even though it feels like your pain will never end, suicidal thoughts often are caused by a treatable health problem. This includes physical medical conditions such as depression.

Depression is a serious medical condition. It changes the chemicals in your brain. It affects your moods, thoughts, and emotions. It can make it hard or impossible for you to feel happy, remember positive perspectives, or see solutions to your problems.

1. Give it time. You do not have to act on your suicidal thoughts. Make a promise to yourself that you will give yourself time to ask for help and seek treatment.

2.Work with a professional. This could be a psychiatrist or a counselor. Don’t be afraid to open up to the professional. You should tell him or her what you are feeling and don’t hide anything.

To find a licensed psychologist in your area, use our "Get in Touch" channel on our website. Here at Diversified Community Services we are here to aid in prevention, bring further awareness and support to our communities.

  1. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

  2. Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

  3. Online Chat: www.imalive.org

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