Understanding the importance of mental health and self-care is necessary as we face numerous crises as a society. We all need to learn about suicide prevention and identification of suicidal thoughts in our loved ones.
According to WHO, 700,000 people die due to suicide all over the world. It is the fourth major cause of death among teenagers aged 15–19 years old. According to the Center of Disease Control of the United States, 19 million adults in the USA seriously thought about taking their own lives in 2019. These numbers have increased in recent years.
Mental Illness Behind the Suicidal Thoughts
The most common mental health issues behind these suicidal thoughts are as follows. However, many individuals are not diagnosed for these issues.
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance use disorders
- Post-traumatic disorder
Apart from these mental illnesses, other factors can contribute to suicide, such as
- Loss of a loved one
- Being in a financial or other type of crisis
- Being preoccupied with violence or death
The question is, how do we prevent it?
There are several ways possible to prevent suicidal thoughts for yourself and for others too. If you happen to have suicidal thoughts,
- Reach out to people or your loved ones who would support you. Look around you and find the people you are comfortable talking to.
- See a doctor, but make sure you can open up to them.
- Look for a suicide prevention hotline and talk to them.
- Such techniques are known as “grounding techniques,” and they have been shown to help people work through their thoughts.
How to Identify and Help Someone having Suicidal Tendencies
To identify someone who is having suicidal thoughts or is thinking about suicide, here are the most common symptoms of someone who might attempt suicide.
- If a person is talking about suicide
- Withdrawing from social contact
- Having mood swings
- Have increased their consumption of alcohol or drugs
- Being severely anxious, agitated or hopeless.
Look around for such people actively, as anyone around us may be having these thoughts, and if you want to help someone, here is what to do,
- Ask them if they are having suicidal thoughts.
- Listen to them and be there for them.
- Encourage them to call the helpline and help them engage with the doctor.
- Follow up after the crisis as suicidal thoughts can come back.
Though suicidal thoughts are common, and the symptoms are hard to identify, in such harsh conditions we need to actively look around for people needing help. Most of us cannot even ask for help due to the mental conditions surrounding them.
NSPPL hopes to reduce and prevent suicide around the in communities, because of severe PTSD and depression, some attempt to take their lives. With care and concern for others a small act of kindness might serve as a lifeline for others.