The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention talked to us yesterday about how to prevent suicide. The title of their presentation was, “Talk Saves Lives”. The premise is that if you are willing to bring the topic of suicide up with others, you have a very high chance of helping someone (or getting help yourself) who is at risk of suicide.
We will spend the next few days talking about some of the things that are important for EVERYONE-and we mean everyone- to know that can help reduce the risk of suicide attempts.
Let’s start with the warning signs. Someone who is feeling suicidal might actually bring it up. They might make off-handed comments about not wanting to be around anymore or that the world would be better without them. Or they might blatantly say they want to hurt themselves. They might talk about feeling trapped or talk about significant pain, physical or emotional.
Someone who is feeling suicidal might have behavioral changes. They might drink more alcohol, act reckless or act more aggressive. They might give away possessions or start saying goodbye to people they care about. They might give up activities they used to enjoy.
Someone who is feeling suicidal may also have a shift in mood. They may experience depression, irritability, rage, humiliation or anxiety.
A person who is suicidal may have many of these warning signs or very few. But those who are closest have the highest chance of noticing. Take notice of those that you care about.