In 2003 the International Association for Suicide Prevention, in conjunction with the WHO, established the 10th of September as World Suicide Prevention Day.
In 2019, while I was still in college, a student from another career jumped from one of the University buildings and died while the people there tried to help him. A week after that, another student from my university committed suicide in his house. My university had to start giving therapy to the community since so many people were affected by the situation. The tragedy opened the door to many questions regarding mental health; why didn’t anyone notice he wasn’t good? Were there people near that could’ve prevented him from jumping? What could’ve been so bad for him to take his own life? But when time passed, people forgot about the happening, and the conversation stopped.
Suicide is considered a severe public health problem affecting thousands of people worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 700,000 people take their own lives yearly; for every suicide, there are approximately 20 more suicide attempts and many more people with thoughts of suicide
At The Woman Post, we believe everyone can create hope if they know how to take action, and we bring some Dos and Don’ts to help prevent suicide effectively.
- Don’t judge. There is nothing as a good reason to die, and people don’t say they want to do it just for attention.
- Instead, try compassion when someone opens up with you; remember, most of the time, the person doesn’t want to die but to rest from the suffering.
- Don’t try to play therapist. Mental health issues need to be managed by professionals.
- Instead, help them look for professional help, which means going to a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Most of the time, suicide is a symptom of a mental disorder like depression, and it can be prevented with therapy, medication, or both.
- Don’t leave them alone even if they ask you to leave. Every minute someone with suicidal thoughts is on their own is a moment they could use to think about how to do something or start doing it.
- Instead, try to propose activities you can do together, which they will enjoy. If necessary, consider taking them to the hospital.
- Don’t distance yourself whenever they go into a crisis, talk about harming themselves or have a suicide attempt. A prior suicide attempt is a risk factor for suicide, and so is feeling lonely.
- Instead, be present for them and take the first step if they haven’t reached you in a while. It is more likely that a person won’t attempt to hurt themselves if they feel they have people to rely on.
- Don’t ignore weird things about them. If they’re sleeping a lot or not enough; if they’re eating more than usual or not eating at all; if they’re in a mood all the time; or if they are acting reckless; those are all signs something may be off with their mental health.
- Instead of ignoring it, try to talk to them, look for information, and even take them to the doctor.
Don’t forget that suicide is a disease that doesn’t show; don’t underestimate mental health issues. Even if you see a friend looking alright, they might be emotionally distressed and need help. Suicide is a tragedy that we can help prevent with the right actions; please don’t wait until something has happened to start asking questions about how you didn’t do anything. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can visit https://findahelpline.com/i/iasp and find the helpline of your country. Remember, there is hope; you only need to ask for help and be open to being helped.