5 Messages to Someone Struggling with Suicide

Most people who consider suicide don’t really want to die. They feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. A lot of times, they have problems they don’t think they can solve. They don’t think anyone else understands and they see suicide as the best, and often times, the only option they have.

Suicide is a leading cause of death among young people

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24 years. It is one of the most challenging topics to talk about in any setting. However, it is very important to talk about it more than anything else, especially when certain risk factors are present.

Risk factors for suicide

While no one can predict suicide, there are risk factors that when present, they tend to increase the possibility that one attempts or commits suicide. Some of them include:

Some important things to note

1. Suicidal thoughts are common

If a person experiences suicidal thoughts, he or she might feel ashamed to talk about them. While thoughts are always a concern and can be warning signs, suicidal behaviour is more dangerous. Suicidal behaviour comprises completed suicide, attempted suicide, and suicidal ideation or thoughts. When people find out that suicidal thoughts are common, they often feel relief to know that they are not alone and they are not going crazy.

You are not alone

2. Suicidal ideations are usually temporary

Most people with thoughts of suicide only experience them for a short time before they pass. Even if they return, people can learn to cope with temporary distress and manage their thoughts and discomfort. When people can cope with and manage bad news, difficult social interactions, or simply the awkward tasks of growing up (if a young person), they tend to think of suicide far less frequently.

3. It’s okay to talk about suicide

Asking a person – “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” with a calm and confident tone sends a very important message. It inspires the confidence that it is okay to talk about anything. It gives hope and relief to the person that is feeling hopeless.

4. Treatment works

People can experience relief and a reduced risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Sometimes, the thoughts and behaviours are temporary and creating a crisis response plan has been shown to be effective during difficult times. If the thoughts continue or get worse, evidence-based treatments to prevent suicide are reliable ways to manage the most dangerous conditions. Some of these treatment options include: dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy for suicide prevention (CBT-SP), and brief cognitive behavioural therapy (BCBT).  These treatment options help people identify how to manage their thoughts, control their emotions, identify healthy coping mechanisms, and stay well.

5. Resources are available

From immediate crisis services to long term treatment options, people can find many helpful resources. Counsellors and medical service providers are able to help people who struggle with suicidal thoughts. There are also numerous crisis lines available to help people with suicidal ideations or families in need of help. Some of them are available by phone, text, chat, tweets, among others.

A word from HealthFacts to you

People who struggle with suicidal thoughts and behaviour can feel scared, sad, and ashamed. Concerned family members and friends may want to help. It is important to note that starting a conversation about it is the most important first step. Thinking about suicide is hard and scary. However, those thoughts can be targeted, treated and changed.

Till next time, stay informed and stay healthy!