National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Your little help can stop someone from taking his life

There could be various reasons for harboring suicidal thoughts, but most of the individuals contemplating suicide either have previous complaints of depression or are reeling under unrelenting agony. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with nearly 42,773 Americans ending their lives every year.

The stigma surrounding mental illness prevents people from sharing their agony, but it is imperative to extend immediate help to such people. The idea of taking one’s own life can be averted by making victims understand the futility of it and by educating them about the possible social problems associated with it.

Some people find it difficult to cope with their suicidal thoughts and in such a situation, the following methods can be helpful:

  • Understanding reasons for committing suicide: It becomes easy to help people with suicidal thoughts get rid of their negative thoughts if one understands the risk factors that aggravate their chance of committing suicide and the positive thoughts that help enrich their lives. The risk factors may include more information about their past attempts of suicides or the nature of mental illnesses disturbing them. One can use f various factors like psychological procedures, support from family, community and professional experts.
  • Paying attention to those seeking help: Nothing strengthens feelings of security more than earnest support from family, friends and those from the community. It is necessary to instill emotions of belongingness in people so that they choose life over death. Devising methods to increase level of support while reducing factors causing stress is an important step. Also, depressed people who are increasingly prone to suicidal ideation lose their interest in daily activities. Knowledge about special interests of depressed people can help forge stronger bonds with them while making them understand that those who care about them share the same kind of interests. Help from professional experts also plays an important role.
  • Making depressed elders feel useful: Feeling of helplessness or guilt of being a burden on others’ can cause the elderly to lose interest in lives and to think of ways to escape emotions of desperation and melancholy by killing themselves. It is necessary to make elders feel important to help them get rid of feelings of despondency and unnecessary self-condemnation. Involving them in activities pertaining to day-to-day life and spending quality time with them can help them keep busy and occupied.
  • Imperativeness to be vocal about suicidal thoughts: The disgrace and stigma associated with suicidal feelings only increase the possibility of depressed people to harbor negative thoughts. Cultural taboos may prevent open and honest conversations about existing suicidal tendencies, thus, only increasing the risk of suicide. Speaking openly about matters like suicide helps ward off negative thoughts.

Rising suicides data points to the necessity to act quickly

According to a report released in April 2016 by the National Centre for Health Statistics, the overall suicide rate had risen by 24 percent in 2014 from 1999. While the rate of suicide for women aged between 45 and 64 had increased by 63 percent over the study period, it rose by 43 percent for American men in that age group.

The economic burden of suicide extends to nearly $44 billion every year, as per the AFSP. People often face difficulty in dealing with mental health illnesses that forces them to take an extreme step of killing themselves. However, a mental disorder is something that requires professional assistance.

If you are battling some mental disorder, get connected to the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline. To learn about the best mental health programs in the U.S., call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our mental health experts for instant assistance.