Mental Wellness

A Crucial Moment: Identify Tendencies and Encourage to Get Help

DayToDay Health
September 8, 2021

A young person, a brilliant executive, a celebrity, and more decide to take the step to end their life. A life is lost. Pain and grief strike the family and the loved ones. Questions raise, and people conclude.

Were there any early signs? Could their decision have been influenced to be reversed? Could hope have been imparted at the crucial moment?

September 11th marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Globally, 700,000 die due to suicide. It was the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds in 2019 (World Health Organisation). In India alone, every year, more than 1,00,000 people commit suicide. (National Crime Records Bureau, 2019)

Suicide is a serious public health problem. Understanding the myths that surround this area allow for the creation of practices to prevent it. In good time with evidence-based and often low-cost interventions are possible.

Myths around Suicide

  1. Mentally unwell people commit suicide.

Individuals with a mental health condition, in most cases, are not affected by suicidal thoughts. Yet, not all people who commit suicide have a mental health condition. Relationship problems and other life stressors like loss of home, death of a loved one, a devastating or debilitating illness, trauma, sexual abuse, rejection, and recent or impending crises are also associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts.

  1. Cowards and selfish people commit suicide.

The attempt to commit suicide often always arises from the need to end the suffering than really the desire to die. In tough times, one could be experiencing feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. They are not simply “thinking of themselves,” but going through mental health symptoms due to either mental illness or a difficult life situation.

  1. Talking about suicide will lead to and encourage suicide.

Talking about suicide reduces the stigma and allows individuals to seek help, rethink their opinions, and share their stories with others. We all need to talk more about suicide.

  1. Once an individual is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

The act of suicide is often an attempt to control deep, painful emotions and thoughts an individual is experiencing. Once these thoughts dissipate, so will the suicidal ideation. While suicidal thoughts can return, they are not permanent. An individual with suicidal thoughts and attempts can live a long, sufficient life.

  1. Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.

Warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s imperative to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide. Many individuals who are suicidal may only show warning signs to those closest to them. These loved ones may not recognize what’s going on, which is how it may seem like the suicide was sudden or without warning.

Warning Signs of a person in high distress

  • Increased or decreased sleep and or appetite
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness or worthlessness
  • Sense of isolation
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Feelings or statements that reflect not having a reason to live or a sense of purpose
  • Rage, anger, seeking revenge
  • Increased alcohol or other drug use
  • Anxiety, agitation, or sleep problems
  • Threatening to hurt or kill themselves
  • Looking for ways to kill themselves; seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide

Steps to Take if you know someone in distress

  1. Connect and be present: Being physically or virtually present for someone who is under distress is a welcome step. Being in touch communicates concern. Be sure to ask such a person if suicide is on their mind. If the answer is yes, make sure to connect them with a specialist.
  1. Help them Connect: Helping and supporting them to connect with a  mental healths specialist allows for a safety net for those moments when the person finds themself in a crisis.
  1. Follow up: After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow up with them to see how they’re doing. You can leave a message, send a text, or give them a call. The follow-up step is a great time to check in with them to see if there is more you are capable of helping with or if there are things you’ve said you would do and haven’t yet had the chance to get done for the person.

Our ability as humans to reflect, think and engage can become our strengths for our community. By looking after that one friend, colleague, family member - we create the safety net for individuals to share and feel heard, increasing chances that the person withers through the challenge of storms that arise in their life. Hope is a decision that begins with a question - “How are you, really?” and an attentive listener.

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Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
Senior Content Writer
Olivia Casale
Olivia Casale
Senior Content Writer
Danny Biel
Danny Biel
Senior Cotent Writer
Driven Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Strong past in Applied Improvisation and Improvisation for entertainment. Skilled in Talent Management, Copywriting, Teaching, Curriculum Development, Editing, and Data Management. Strong media and communication professional with a Master of Education.
Prem Sharma
Prem Sharma
Christine Hsieh
Christine Hsieh
Chief of Strategy & Research
My vision is to help transformative, indispensable inventions come into markets to make a difference in people's lives. I see this occurring through a continuously evolving practice of working at the intersection of empathetic design, cutting-edge technology, and business.
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