How can we best prevent suicide?

"The natural end of every human life is death. Some people, for reasons that have never been fully understood, choose to end their own lives".


The natural end of every human life is death.

Some people, for reasons that have never been fully understood, choose to end their own lives.

This is called suicide which means literally self-killing.

According to Dryden-Edwards (2013) Suicide is the act of killing oneself deliberately and Para suicide is a deliberate injury inflicted upon oneself resembling a suicide attempt that is unlikely to be intended to be successful.

Because suicide is usually seen as a deliberate act, many feel that it’s logical to describe it as something a person commits that it does perform, perpetrates.

Statistics show that nine out of ten people who commit or attempt suicide have at least one major psychiatric illness

The most common of these psychiatric conditions are mood disorders, alcohol, substance abuse, and behavior disorders.

The issue though is that when we use the word commit to describe suicide it implies that a choice was made in the same way that one might choose to commit a crime or a sin.

However, those who die by suicide usually do not feel as though they have a choice.

When a person attempts suicide, this isn’t necessarily a sign that they want to die.

Instead, it’s an indicator that they are in great emotional pain, but don’t know how to deal with it.

Suicide has started to look like their only option to escape a situation that they don’t know how to handle.

When dealing with suicide many individuals who have lost a loved one sometimes wonder if they could have possibly prevented it or some individuals may even blame themselves for the main cause of suicide in others.

Therefore this self-blaming may lead to behavioral changes which could represent itself as a decrease in the person’s ability to express emotions.

Mental illness has shown to play a crucial role and is possibly the main precipitating factor in preventing suicide.

We need to be proactive in offering assistance to individuals who think might be considering suicide.

You can start by recognizing some of the red flags that would indicate the person is in trouble.

These include trouble sleeping, making preparations, a sense of personalized hopelessness, talking about suicide, isolating themselves, and perceived burdensomeness.

When you suspect someone is in trouble, you can offer them support and assistance getting help.

If you are concerned you should ask directly if they are having thoughts about suicide.

Open up the subject look them in the eye and show them you care and you want to be there for them.

As you get them talking you also want to look for signs of the part of them that wants to live.

You can ask them what has made them feel better in the past and offer to help them.

You can take a walk with them just sit and breathe together, anything that will help them start to calm down.

This might mean just sitting and being with them in their pain it is important not to leave them alone.

If the person is in immediate danger, you can call 911 or take them to the emergency room any hospital.

If they are on a college campus, you can escort them to the counseling center you can seek out a local therapist to treat the person in crisis or to advise you.

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