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.
What do you do with the answer? What do you do when you realize, for example, “my child just said: “I’ve thought about taking all the medicine in the cabinet….’”?
- If your child has told you something that shows a thought-out way they would end their life or hurt themselves, call their therapist, a suicide prevention hotline, hospital, or 911. You may decide to take them to the nearest emergency room to avoid leaving them alone.
- It does not matter if your child says they are going to hate you for getting them help. They may hate you, but by taking action, they will still be alive. That is the priority.
What if I suspect that my child is just being dramatic?
- A person who feels enough emotional pain to make desperate statements needs someone to assist them in getting support.
- It is true that a person can talk of dying, and not intend to take his or her own life. But a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation are not mere stunts for attention. They are important ways people communicate dangerous levels of distress. More of us need to know how to respond.
- Most people who die by suicide tell someone they plan to hurt themselves before they take their lives.
- If someone talks to you of their own death, or the means to carry it out, you have a precious, urgent opportunity to act before it is too late.
Isn’t suicide rare?
- Suicide is not nearly as rare as people think.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 24 — second only to accidental death.
Who is at greatest risk of suicide?
- No one is 100% immune to mental health conditions that can raise the risk of suicide.
- People who are experiencing depression are at risk for suicide. It can come with general depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. It can come with a number of other mental health conditions.
- Resist the urge to judge, dismiss, or try to talk someone out of how they feel. Asking questions and taking action to get needed support are two of the most important things we can do to prevent the tragedy of suicide.
We are only human – nobody is perfect. Sometimes we misunderstand each other, or get overwhelmed by what is going on inside of ourselves. But we do not need to be perfect to be healthier, happier, and more supportive to ourselves and each other in the ways we need it most.