According to the World Health Organization, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide each year. That equates to one person every forty seconds. How can this be prevented? First off, one must look for the signs.
Someone who is suicidal may talk about killing or harming themself, writing about death/dying, or seek out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons or drugs. Also, major mood swings are another huge sign. If someone you know suddenly begins to morph into a completely different person, whether behaviorally or physically, you should definitely check up on them as they may be struggling mentally.
Second, though it may be a difficult topic, if you have even the slightest concern that someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, it is crucial to carefully start a conversation about it. One could casually ease into this by saying things like, “Is everything alright? You haven’t seemed like yourself lately,” or “Hey, I wanted to check in on you and ask how you’re doing.” Even noticing that one person cares can make a monumental difference for someone struggling with such feelings.
Lastly, listen to them. Rather than arguing by saying things like, “You have so much to live for,” or “Think about your friends and family,” let them give their point of view. One of the reasons they’re having these thoughts is possibly because they don’t feel truly seen or heard. Therefore, ignoring what they have to say and going against it won’t do anything except make it harder on them.
It can be quite difficult to recognize these signs, but they are much more common than you may think. Taking a little time out of your day to ask your family or friends how their day was, can truly make the world of difference. The theme of this past suicide prevention month is simple: check up on your friends.
Counselors at Dana are still able to help during the closure due to COVID-19. For more information on how to get in contact if you are struggling, follow this link to the Counselor’s Corner on the Dana Hills High School Homepage:
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