It’s easy to pretend that everything is all right—for you,
for your family, for your friends. But sometimes, it’s just not, and that’s
when its time to seek support, or offer it.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. More people die from
suicide than from war and murder combined, and many of the people who commit
suicide do so because they think they don’t have another option, or because
they think no one else will care. But there are always other options, and there is always someone, many someones, who care. Take five minutes today to
get involved and become informed. Here’s how:
What should I be
The National Council for Suicide Prevention urges you to
take immediate action when you see someone (or if you yourself are) exhibiting
the signs for suicide. You might promise a friend never to tell a parent or
teacher about her problems, but if the choice is between keeping your promise
and saving her life, saving her life should always be your top priority.
Signs to look for include hopelessness, recklessness,
uncontrolled anger, withdrawing from friends and activities, anxiety, dramatic
mood changes, feeling like there’s no way out and increased alcohol or drug
use. If a friend is threatening to hurt or kill herself, or begins looking for
ways to hurt or kill herself, call 911 or ask for immediate assistance from a
mental health provider, or someone like a guidance counselor or school nurse.
If a friend who normally doesn’t write or talk about death, dying or suicide begins
doing so, ask for help from a professional.
How can I help?
Aiding a friend, family member or
even an acquaintance who is severely depressed or potentially suicidal is
difficult and requires you to be patient. Sometimes the best thing you can do
is to listen and show that you care. Be available to talk, and talk openly. Ask
hard questions, like if they are contemplating suicide. Be aware of how they’re
doing on a day-to-day basis so you can tell when circumstances are getting
better and if they become worse.
Don’t judge; instead, let them
talk openly about their feelings. Don’t feel like you need to give advice or
try to solve their problems. And don’t think you can’t talk to someone about
your experience as you try to help a friend. It’s important that you stick with
your friend as long as you can, but these issues and emotions are hard to deal
with. Talking to someone else confidentially can help you come to terms with
how you’re feeling about your friend.
For more tips and resources, please visit the NCSP’s website here.
What can I do right now?
If you or a friend needs help
right now, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The call is absolutely free and will not appear on your phone bill, and the
line is staffed 24/7/365 by trained counselors at crisis centers near you.
These counselors can also refer you to local mental health professionals.
Here’s how the call works: When you dial the number, you’ll hear a recording
telling you that you’ve reached the Lifeline. You’ll hear music while your call
is routed to a crisis center near you and then, a trained counselor will get on
the line to talk with you for as long as you need.
To spread awareness and show your
support, put a candle in your window tonight and light it at 8 p.m. You’ll be
joining thousands of people who are uniting to prevent suicide. For more
details and to show your support on social media, visit facebook.com/take5tosavelives.
BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 9/10/2012 3:10:00 PM
POSTED IN life, cutting, dealing with depression, dealing with tragedy, sexuality, identity, addiction