How You Can Prevent a Suicide

June 8, 2018 Published by
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How You Can Prevent a Suicide

How very sad it is when a person can no longer cope with their life. I am reminded of the many times I passed the storefront of Kate Spade. I always felt happy looking into the window at her bright and cheery designs.

How was she able to create a collection of such colorful conversational pieces when deep within she was suffering from depression?

Sadly, I have lived through a family suicide. On January 6, 2009, my husband’s son committed suicide. A family man with three children, he, like Kate Spade, could no longer cope with life’s challenges. As a family, we may have been able to save his life if we had known the signs.

I know that some of you have suffered the same experience or know a friend, an acquaintance or a co-worker whose family has experienced suicide.

The Questions

Why can’t our loved ones or friends cope and why do they choose death over life? Do they feel they are unable to come to family or friends for help? Why don’t loved ones, friends or co-workers sense a serious problem?

Furthermore, why is it that when a suicide occurs we are shocked and dismayed when it is the tenth leading cause of death? We should all understand that suicide is a health issue and that mental health treatment can prevent a suicide.

Therefore, it is up to us to learn what suicide is, who it affects and what can we do to help prevent it.

Recognize the Warning Signs

  1. Withdrawal
  2. Sudden mood change
  3. Giving away possessions
  4. Talking about death
  5. Anxiety
  6. Increased alcohol or drug use
  7. Failure to take care of self
  8. Lack of appetite

Conversation Starters That May Prevent Suicide

  1. I have noticed, lately, you talk about feeling hopeless. Can we talk?
  2. Are you thinking about suicide? (Do not be afraid to ask.)
  3. Do you have a weapon or prescription drugs in the house? Ask!
  4. I care about you, I will find help for you, and I will even go with you for help.

Conversations to Stay Away From

  1. “You are not thinking about suicide are you?” You do not want to indicate you want to hear ‘no’ for an answer.
  2. Never say out of your own fears and frustrations, “If you want to be selfish go ahead and kill yourself.” This is the most dangerous comment you can make.
  3. Avoid any promises of keeping secrets like, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me.” Instead, say, “I care about you too much to keep a secret. I am going to help you get the proper care.”

If you feel the situation is critical, take the person to a nearby emergency room, call 911 or call the NATIONAL PREVENTION LIFELINE at 1-800-273-8255.

Many Suffer in Silence

There are so many people suffering from depression and are suffering in silence. Many people, for many different reasons, want to talk but find it too difficult.

It is up to us to learn the signs and watch for and catch the signs of suicide. It is up to us to try and protect those we love or care for.

On Sunday morning, I will share my personal story about our family suicide.

Suicide is a heavy topic to talk about, but I urge you to start the conversation. I also welcome you to share your thoughts and experiences either in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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3 Comments

  • Amanda McLean says:

    Depression is such complex subject… statistic shows that a low % have in reality an illness as such but it is more the sense of abandonment ones feels because the root of the problem almost have no solution or are or was out of one ‘s control and almost no one has the time, compassion or empathy to listen and help in a practical way .. people are more interested in their own agenda nothing more or less …they live in a hurry excusing themselves being busy or no time for one to one interaction or given superficial help with plenty of lip service …like are you O.K. bal bla bla or why don’t you seek help ….and when you seek help from professionals .. in the end, you are to your own resources, one has to gain strenght raising from the ashes practically to continue the jouney …. I have been there many times, so I know…. but I have survived although fragile at times …I am lucky I have an immense faith that it is like a soundboard for me, it is my crutch. I find in today’s world faith is disappearing leaving people more vulnerable as faith gives you strength as long is fulfilled without fanatism, this now has been replaced by alcohol and prescribes drugs that in the end lead to suicide….

  • Rita Lewison Singer says:

    There is an excellent book out there: You. we’d Help, by Dr. Mark Komrad. I highly recommend it as a vehicle for getting your friends & loved ones the help they need before it is too late.

  • Rita Lewison Singer says:

    The title is You Need Help. Sorry for the typo!

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