People are nowadays more open to speak and discuss about Suicide and Suicide Prevention. Conversations about such topics are no longer seen as a taboo by many. Furthermore, you’ve probably even heard governmental bodies preach about such topic and how important it is to seek help in times when we’re not coping. But, as I’ve seen and experienced in my lifetime, sometimes—if not many times, the system fails us. September 10th is known around the globe as World Suicide Prevention Day. For this reason, the very least we can do is put out a post for awareness.
It Can Be Anyone...
Most of the people I’ve met in my life were friends or at least know of someone who committed Suicide. Truth is, sometimes you may have people in your life who are really struggling silently. Matter of fact, sometimes these people can be people who in our eyes might seem happy, accomplished or at a ‘very good stage in their life’.
Nevertheless, unless someone tells you or shows signs that they’re indeed struggling, it’s not always possible to realise that one is not coping.
Creating Hope Through Action
Suicide has far-reaching consequences. Globally, there are over 700,000 suicides each year, and an even bigger number of people who are affected from such tragedies. “Creating Hope Through Action” is the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day from 2021 to 2023, and its aim is to create a call to action and remind us of alternatives to suicide. It’s a powerful message that our actions can instill hope, reaching those with suicidal thoughts.
By creating hope through action, we signal care and support to those in despair. Our actions, no matter how small, can offer hope to those in need.
A Conversation Can Make A Difference.
When concerned about someone at risk of suicide, a conversation can make a difference. Here are some suggestions:
Watch for signs of distress: Look for behavioural changes indicating serious distress.
Ask directly: It’s okay to ask someone, “Are you having suicidal thoughts?” Asking can provide them relief and let them know they are not alone.
Listen and take them seriously: Listen attentively, be understanding and supportive. You don’t have to have all the answers, but we all know what a difference it makes having someone give you the time of day—especially if you’re not doing well.
Arrange follow-up: Make plans to meet up again to have a heart-to-heart conversation. Show ongoing support and value.
Simple actions matter: Remember that every little thing matters… Just by being kind and allowing someone to share their feelings in a safe space without judgement can mean a lot more than you know.
Encourage professional support: Encourage seeking professional help and know when to step back for self-care. While statistics reveal the magnitude of the issue, they can’t explain the reasons behind individual decisions or the profound impact on families, friends, and communities.
When is Suicide Prevention Month?
The Suicide Prevention Month is September. During this month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.
What to do if you are having suicidal thoughts?
Seek professional help. Trying to talk about it with someone close to you might also help.
I lost someone to suicide and I don't know how to go on.
As someone who lost a dear friend to suicide, I can say that it is something that sticks with you. Don't be afraid to seek professional help and don't hold back from sharing your emotions and pain. You might feel sad, angry and all sorts of other emotions. Something that really helped me was being around other people who were close to this person. We cried together, shared our stories and memories and we held each other close. Just know that it's all going to to be okay.