FAQs on Suicide Prevention Part 1

Understanding and recognising the warning signs of depression and suicidal behaviour are helpful in preventing suicide. The following answers to important questions can help you understand suicide and take steps to stop it.

How do you know someone might be suicidal?

  • You may hear them say statements like: “I wish I was never born.”, “Your life would be so much better without me.” & “I feel like I’m just taking up space.”
  • If hearing such statements worries you, it should. These sentiments are warning signs that a person is thinking about suicide, also called suicidal ideation.
  • Though these are passive suicidal statements, they should be taken very seriously. They may mean a person is thinking about ending his or her life. This person is struggling with a mental health crisis and we need to attend to this.
  • Even passive thoughts of suicide deserve prompt attention. Respond immediately. To know better what to make of the statements you just heard, ask more questions.

What behaviors are warning signs for suicide?

  • Some people may keep their thoughts and plans for suicide to themselves, which makes helping them very difficult.
  • However, those considering suicide sometimes show signs that they are thinking, preparing, or seeking the means to carry it out. Suicide warning signs (adapted from helpguide.org) include: Appearing agitated, anxious, irritable, Becoming extremely sensitive and strongly reactive to criticism, Talking, writing, journaling or joking about suicide, Making statements like “I’d be better off dead”, Withdrawing from activities or friends, Gathering special items to give friends or family, Saying what sounds like a final goodbye & Seeking out the means to kill themselves – a weapon, substance, or dangerous location.

If a person seems troubled, is it safe to ask if they are thinking about hurting themselves? Can asking increase the danger of suicide?

  • YES
  • It is a myth that asking questions will increase the chance people will harm themselves. Asking questions shows you care.
  • One of the most important things you can offer — as a therapist, family member, bystander or friend — is living proof that someone cares.
  • People start thinking of suicide when they feel hopeless and alone in their struggle. They do not see a way out. Telling them they are not alone — and really meaning it — is huge. They desperately need someone to care.

Reference : https://brickelandassociates.com/suicide-prevention-10-questions-and-answers/

18 Comments Add yours

    1. GS says:

      It is. Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.

      Like

      1. GS says:

        Glad you agree.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. iamvhardik says:

    You are spot on with the behaviour pattern of someone in the stage of suicide ideation.

    Thanks for the post. Some points of it have stimulated a self introspection. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Talking about suicide does not increase the risk of an attempt occurring. Instead, it allows the person to express themselves and get help. Help them to connect to support services. This may include dialing the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number for them to talk to a trained counselor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BriN says:

    I’ve only had one friend who used to speak like this and it used to scare me a lot.

    The thing is she used to beg me not to tell any of what she tells me, to anyone else. And what if she was making passive comments and me overreacting would end our friendship? That was a scary time. But I guess she’s okay now.

    Thanks for this. Atleast I’ll know how to deal now❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Glad she is okay. While knowing risk factors is helpful, we need to improve prevention.” Risk factors for suicide include major depression, having experienced severe traumatic stress, incidents of suicide in the family or having been closely associated to someone who has committed suicide.

      Like

  3. VGo Global says:

    More people should talk about it. Thank you for posting!

    – Shreya Joshi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes specially for the youth. Anyone can suffer from depression and feelings of hopelessness may not always be obvious, especially in children. Young people, prone to the emotional swings of adolescence, may act out or become withdrawn. Pop culture has glorified suicide in some regard with television programs normalizing the behavior or showing suicide or self-harm as a solution. Bullying is a national epidemic and doesn’t stop when kids leave school. Kids, who often don’t appreciate the consequences of their actions, are now prone to bully and be bullied every hour of the day through social media channels.

      Parents can help their kids become part of the solution when it comes to teen suicide or self-harm by giving them tools to handle difficult situations with peers. Teaching kids what to do when their friends talk about suicide, self-harm, or ideation may save a life and is as important as ensuring their kids aren’t bullying others. Creating and maintaining clear, nonjudgmental channels of communication is the key to ensuring parents can best support their children.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. VGo Global says:

        True. We need to come together as a society to bring change.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. BigBrainCoach says:

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Thank you. Undoubtedly, the most important message for everyone is: suicides are preventable. Ongoing education of the medical community to recognize and treat mental diseases such as depression is one key factor within any prevention strategy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tejashwini says:

    Sometimes we can just say a depressed person to come out of it but for that person its really impossible if dey are not strong to handle the situations.

    Like

    1. GS says:

      It is Tejashwini and hence we need to be patient and cautious at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. simplysouthernminimalist says:

    Great article! As a mental health nurse, this is some great advice!

    Like

    1. GS says:

      I am glad you found it helpful.

      Like

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