With suicide prevention week coming to a close, here are some things you and I can take notice of and do to help prevent suicide!
While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give some warning.
“We can all help prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond,” said Robert Gebbia, executive director for AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).
Those considering suicide often show signs of depression or anxiety. Learning to recognize some common warning signs can help save lives:
- · Appearing sad or despondent most of the time
- · Clinical depression – deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating—that doesn’t go away or continues to get worse
- · Feeling anxious, agitated, or irritable
- · Neglecting personal welfare, deteriorating physical appearance
- · Withdrawing from friends and family
- · Losing interest in work, school, hobbies or other things one used to enjoy
- · Frequent and dramatic mood changes
- · Expressing feelings of guilt or shame or burdensomeness
- · Feeling like a failure
- · Feeling that life is not worth living, having no sense of purpose in life
- · Talking about feeling trapped—like there is no way out of a situation
- · Having feelings of desperation, and saying that there’s no solution to their problems
- · Wishing to be dead or talking about suicide
Keep an eye out for other changes in behavior or actions such as:
- · Showing violent behavior such as punching holes in walls, getting into fights or self-destructive violence; feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
- · Increase in use of alcohol or other drugs
- · Looking as though one has a “death wish,” by tempting fate and taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
- · Giving away possessions
- · Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, and/or making out a will
- · Seeking access to firearms, pills, or other means to harm oneself
Knowing these common warning signs and risk factors can help you identify when someone you care about is depressed and needs help. Never ignore a suicide threat. For tips on how to help someone who is struggling, please visit www.afsp.org. And if you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255). Veterans in crisis can call this number and press #1 for specific assistance. Veterans can also chat anonymously online through the Confidential Veterans Chat service available atwww.veteranscrisisline.net or send text messages to 838255.