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National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month-September

Suicide has become a leading cause of death worldwide. According to World Health Organization (W.H.O) around 1 million people die due to suicide every year. Suicidal thoughts can affect individuals irrespective of their age. The disturbing thoughts in human brain accumulate over time to provoke violent reaction against them which predominantly involves harming yourself. Suicide prevention efforts have been carried out by spreading awareness against mental illness. September is dedicated to work with this motive of spreading awareness about suicide prevention, therefore declared as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month since 2008. Since then, September is devoted to connect individuals by sharing stories of survivors, raise awareness among those struggling and fighting to get help. It has been reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that every year more than 41,000 individuals give up on their lives and commit suicide. In U.S, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and the 2nd leading cause of death among youngsters. The rates have been increasing over the years. This month there is a need to break the stigma by shifting people’s mindset. The goal is to ensure every individuals safety by providing them access to resources of help. 

How to prevent Suicide?

  1. Recognizing the warning signs:

    The foremost responsibility of one as an individual is being able to decode or read the warning signs. If one is able to spot those signs, one can immediately offer help or contact someone who can help them out.

  2. Educate yourself about Suicide:

    One should do their research and develop an understanding about what causes suicide in individuals. People are mostly unaware when it comes to knowing about depression and despair. How it can reside in a human being like a seed that gradually grows up to their throat to suffocate them to death. A normal person cannot measure the pain of a suicidal person. Suicide is an attempt to escape persistent trauma. The loss of faith, hopelessness, isolation and grief, there is no way a suicidal person can find relief in anything but death. The ultimate belief is death is the only way to put halt to the suffering. Suicide is not their choice but it is the only way out.

  3. Warning Signs:

    Suicide can be prevented if you know about warning signs which are signals to their future intentions. You can play your part by staying close to people who are struggling, paying attention to what they have to say, showing them care and getting them a professional help. Mostly warning signs involve talking about killing oneself, writing about death or dying, looking for dangerous things such as weapons or drugs. The case gets worst if an individual has mood disorders, has alcohol dependency, has attempted suicide or have a family history of suicide. Subtle warning signs are despair, hopelessness or going dull day by day. Other warning signs are switching between moods from being enthusiast to going overwhelmed or from disciplined to rebellious.

Tips for Suicide Prevention:

Once you realize some evident signs you need to take effective measures. Following are the things you can do:
  1. Discuss it:

    Discovering warning signs of suicide in someone makes us skeptical about our next move. The prevailing thought is based upon the doubts and fears about what if your interpretation was wrong. Therefore, you refrain to make a move. Now, here you must avoid your fears or discomfort and take a step to immediately offer help. By inquiring about suicidal thoughts you are not giving them a nudge to the idea of harming themselves. In fact this way you can show them your care and an opportunity to express themselves. Giving a suicidal person a space to talk may prevent a suicide attempt. While talking to a suicidal person make sure you listen to them, be sympathetic, take them seriously and give them hope instead of arguing, giving them lectures about how it is wrong or promise confidentiality. You need not to blame yourself if you are unable to fix them.

  2. Respond quickly:

    If a friend or family member tells you about their thoughts about suicide explicitly, you need to immediately determine the danger that person is in. That person is at greater risk of attempting suicide, they have a plan, means and intentions of doing it. You need to reach out to them by inquiring them properly. If you feel like you cannot control it or stop it, you must contact your country’s emergency number. If you are present with them try to remove all the dangerous weapons that may be in their reach and do not leave them alone.

  3. Offer help:

    Helping someone who is struggling through suicide can be difficult. The best way to help a suicidal person is by showing them sympathy and care. Supporting a suicidal person by telling them they are not alone can impact them positively. They have to make a commitment of putting an effort to recover but with your help it may get easier for them.

  4. Professional help:

    Getting a suicidal person a professional help can be tough. You need to do everything in your power to persuade them to get help.

    • Call or text crisis helpline at 988 to get advice or referrals.
    • Encourage them to see a professional therapist or take the responsibility of taking them to doctor’s appointment.
    • Finding right medication and therapist can take time. Have knowledge about prescribed medication and be aware of possible side effects. Report to the doctor if the person’s condition gets worse.
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