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Suicide Prevention Strategies for Friends and Family

It’s a sad and often surprising day when someone you care about expresses a desire to end their life. Even worse is when a person commits suicide seemingly without warning. Given the chance, what would you do to stop a suicide?

Understanding Suicide

According to the CDC, over 48,000 Americans took their own lives in 2018, giving the United States one of the developed world’s highest suicide rates. While suicide is sadly widespread, it’s also highly specific to individuals. Suicide is frequently undertaken to obtain closure for trauma, caused by a generally poor social environment or some particular circumstance such as a major loss (of a job or loved one) or chronic condition (drug addiction, physical disorder or mental health troubles.) The underlying issue is a lack of hope for any future improvement. Suicide awareness Chicago IL programs in your area can supply more information on the intricate links between mental illness and suicidal inclinations.

Talk It Out

Sometimes, all someone needs is a caring audience for their concerns. The taboo against suicide has historically made it hard to discuss, even among one’s closest confidants. The suicidal individual who reveals his intentions to another person displays a great deal of trust in that person. It could be that the act of speaking out and receiving human sympathy instead of scorn is enough to bring someone back from the brink.

When Helpers Need Help

Other people’s complex problems cannot be solved in one way or by one person. Call a crisis hotline such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to talk with trained personnel and be directed to area support services. Meanwhile, try to remove any weapons, pills and other possible tools of suicide from the environment. In an emergency, people with suicidal thoughts may be hospitalized by their relatives. A psychiatric evaluation will determine whether the patient requires prolonged courses of therapy or medications such as lithium.

Preventing a potential suicide takes patience and compassion above all. Be there to provide the moral support and physical resources to make someone see there are other options besides suicide.

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