World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day. I’ll like to tell you what I used to think was the only cause of suicide but before then;

What is Suicide?

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Suicide does not just occur in high-income countries but is a global phenomenon in all regions of the world. In fact, over 77% of global suicides occurred in low and middle-income countries in 2019, making it the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19 year olds.

15-year-old black teen who committed suicide. See source

A few years ago, I used to think that for someone to be suicidal, it means the person has either financial problems or mental problems but as time went on, I discovered that there’s more to suicide than the above mentioned. 

A difference in emotional tolerance has been one of the causes of suicide, as most people’s tolerance level is not as high as the others, making them easily go into depression. This has killed many youths than it has saved. Mental disorders and then thoughts of suicide come in as the only solution to end the problem.

Other causes of suicide include serious mental illness, isolation, previous suicide attempts.

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty or hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable emotional or physical pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Excessive use of drugs and alcohol 

“Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.”

Unknown

How Can Suicide be Prevented?

The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize warning signs and know how to respond to such a crisis.

1. Take Counsel

Many times, we tend to undermine the power of counselling, thinking it’s all just long talks and exposing one’s private life, but it’s worth much more than that. Counselling has saved more people from suicide. Are you having any suicidal thoughts? Visit a counsellor, your secrets are safe with them.

2. Talk to Friends

Do not be afraid to talk to your friends. Listen to their feelings. Make sure they know how important they are to you but don’t believe you can keep them from hurting themselves on your own. Preventing suicide will require help from adults.

3. Make no deals

Never keep secret a friend’s suicidal plans or thoughts. You cannot promise that you will not tell-you have to tell to save your friend!

4. Tell an adult

Talk to your parent, your friend’s parent, your school’s psychologist or counsellor– any trusted adult. Don’t wait! Don’t be afraid that the adults will not believe you or take you seriously. Keep talking until they listen! Even if you are not sure your friend is suicidal, talk to someone. This is definitely the time to be safe, not sorry!

As parents,  listen even when your teens are not talking. Sounds funny, right? Not all, but most kids who are thinking about suicide (this is called suicidal ideation) tip-off their troubled state of mind through troubled behaviors and actions. Poor communication between parents and children can lead to the death of a child.

5. Refrain from isolation

Teenagers and young adults isolating themselves from family and friends can make one feel lonely, leading to different negative thoughts. Drinking excessively and possibly the thought of suicide might creep in if things aren’t going the way you expect. 

6. Do not demand too much of yourself

I am not saying don’t have plans or goals, not at all. I am saying don’t beat yourself too hard that you go into depression. If some of these goals and plans you’ve made doesn’t pull through., rebuild your confidence and self esteem and rise up again.

I am leaving you with these quotes. Read and reread them anytime you feel like giving it all up.

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

Maya Angelou

The real reason for not committing suicide is because you always know how swell life gets again after the hell is over.

Ernest Hemingway

The greatest glory in living lies in not falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Nelson Mandela

What decision are you making today to improve your quality of life?


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