When you think about suicide, what comes to mind? Maybe you had a friend or family member die by suicide, maybe you’re instantly confused by it, maybe you disregard the fact entirely. Suicide has always been taboo. It’s referred to as “committing suicide,” as if it’s a crime. However, the fact is: “On average, one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes.” (dosomething.org) That one person is a daughter/son, mother/father, aunt/uncle, grandma/grandpa. That person is a friend. That person has had a lifetime of memories, laughs, tears, experiences. The experiences led that person to take their life. Was someone there for them? Was someone truly listening to them? Was someone supporting them?
Multiple times we’ve seen surprising news regarding suicide; of a loved actor, of a popular TV personality, or a famous fashion designer. We simply never know what’s going on in someone’s head. Spreading awareness of how common suicide is is essential toward the goal of suicide prevention.
There are common warning signs one may display if they are considering suicide. According to save.org, these signs include withdrawing or isolation, showing rage, extreme mood swings, increased use of alcohol or drugs, acting anxious or reckless, sleeping too little or too much. People thinking about suicide will often discuss this blatantly, which may be ignored by those around. They might: talk about feeling hopeless or without purpose, talk about feeling trapped or talk about being a burden to others.
If someone is depressed and suicidal, it can help them to know they’re not alone, and that someone cares. Here’s a list of traits you can choose to have that could help someone:
- Empathy.“Put yourself in their shoes.” Try to understand that there are reasons that person is the way he/she is (home life, mental illness, bullying, etc.)
- Good listener.
- Have love.
You never know, your kindness could save a life.