Suicide is the second largest cause of mortality among teenagers, outnumbering all other causes combined. What’s even more tragic is that this loss of life may have been avoided. Suicidal crises pass, and therapy for suicidal thoughts and conduct is accessible. With that, Glitz is shining a light on what YOU can do to help those around you who are contemplating suicide and how to in the prevention of it.
In order to prevent suicide, everyone has a responsibility to play. Simple gestures of connection, such as just reaching out, maybe quite powerful. It may seem insignificant, but survivors of suicide attempts and suicide specialists agree that it may make a big difference. Suicide risk is reduced when people look out for one another.
For the first three months of 2021, there were an average of four suicide incidents per day in Malaysia, with 336 instances reported to the police. It’s well recognised that people who are cut off from their support networks and are under a lot of stress are more likely to develop mental health issues like depression. The public is being advised to be more mindful of their family members and people in their immediate environment in order to spot early signs of depression that might lead to suicide ideation.
Having someone to chat with maybe quite beneficial. However, you might have to be persistent before they agree to speak with you. Suicide will not be pushed by talking about it or having suicidal thoughts. It’s also not true that those who talk about suicide won’t do it.
Any avowed intention of suicide should be taken extremely seriously. While you may not be able to fix a friend’s or classmate’s difficulties, you may be able to assist them in finding someone who can. Additionally, you can check out below what you can do to play your part in suicide prevention for the ones you love.
1. Understand the warning signs
It’s difficult to tell if someone is a danger of suicide. Learning the warning indicators, on the other hand, can be a good start. Knowing what to look for and being prepared to respond if you suspect someone is in danger is the greatest approach to help prevent suicide.
A shift in someone’s demeanour or behaviour might indicate that they are contemplating suicide. When someone you know is acting strangely, you could be the best judge. Here are some signs to be aware of:
- Talking about wanting to die often
- They’re looking for a means to commit suicide (researching online, purchasing items they can use to harm themselves)
- Expressing the feeling of hopelessness
- Talking about being imprisoned or in excruciating pain
- Feeling like they’re a burden to others
- Increasing alcohol or drug use
- Acting anxious or restless, or acting impulsively
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves from others
2. Create a safety plan
It’s a good moment to consider averting a future catastrophe while a person isn’t in imminent danger of trying suicide. That’s where we’d like to make getting assistance and using adaptive coping skills a habit. Suicide prevention specialists recommend that people create a safety plan.
It’s a straightforward strategy for dealing with a crisis and getting treatment, and it’s usually created by an at-risk person and their mental health professional together, although a family member or friend can also assist. Making a list of the person’s triggers and warning signs of impending crisis, persons they feel comfortable approaching for help, and things they may do to divert themselves during those times are all part of a safety plan.
3. Directly ask if they are at risk of it
What should you do if you realise someone is struggling and you think they’re thinking about suicide? Make contact, check-in, and demonstrate that you care. Someone suffering from suicidal ideation or depression is unlikely to seek help. They believe that they are a burden to others.
When someone reaches out and offers help, it makes a person feel less alone. Simple helpful gestures such as “Are you doing, OK?” and “If you need anything, let me know” can have a significant influence on someone who is experiencing emotional distress.
Most individuals are hesitant to inquire about suicide because they believe it will bring up the concept in their minds. Suicide prevention professionals, on the other hand, believe that honestly and compassionately addressing suicide with someone who is in danger is critical to avoid it. “Have you ever considered suicide?” is a straightforward question that can be asked. “What do you think of people who kill themselves?” is a more generic question that might start a debate about suicide.
4. Practice grounding exercises
Intense emotional anguish may make it difficult to evaluate things objectively, and people who are overwhelmed by their grief tend to overestimate the severity of events. This erroneous viewpoint can lead to suicidal ideation and can make suicide appear to be the only viable alternative. While grounding techniques may not be effective for everyone, they can assist people who are in a state of distress, restore clarity and refocus on what is truly happening at the moment. You can play the 5-4-3-2-1 game and ask your companion to identify 5 things they see, 4 things they hear, 3 things they smell, 2 things they feel, and 1 item they taste.
5. Stay with them and encourage them to seek professional help
If your buddy has suicidal thoughts but no plan or immediate danger, sharing their pain may help them feel better. This isn’t to say they’re in perfect health. They may continue to have suicidal thoughts until they receive assistance with the underlying issue. Maintaining contact with your buddy might serve as a reminder that you care, even after the crisis has gone.
You may also help them by urging them to get help from a therapist if they are experiencing persistent or repeated suicidal thoughts. Remember that you can’t make someone go to treatment, no matter how much you feel it would benefit them. It’s difficult to see someone suffer alone, yet advising them what to do may not be the best solution.
These recommendations demonstrate your concern for your buddy while also gently informing them of your limitations. Although you are unlikely to be able to provide any genuine answers to their misery, therapists are trained to support and assist persons who are contemplating suicide.
If you or someone you know are feeling suicidal, seek help:
Befrienders Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-76272929 / 03-795 68145