An estimated 800,000 people commit suicide, and even more attempt suicide every year according to the World Health Organization.
Suicide has become a global problem, accounting for almost 1.4 percent of all deaths worldwide. Most of these suicides occur in low or middle income countries with little to no national strategy for suicide prevention.
I will try to give simple tips to help you prevent suicide without feeling overwhelmed. Everyone can help.
- All of us feel suicidal at times. Nobody is immune. If you haven’t felt it so far, give life a chance.
- As of now, we don’t know precisely what causes final act of suicide. People reach that point through various pathways.
- One thing is sure, loneliness and hopelessness contribute a lot to final stage.
- So, whenever you realise that your friend, acquaintance, lover, student, neighbour, relative, is avoiding people , you should ask if they are okay.
- If you are wondering about their suicidal thoughts, ask.
- Asking is the best way to help.
- You will NOT be inducing suicide by asking.
- Offer to talk, brew a cup of tea/coffee/hot meal.
- Don’t advice. Just hear them out. At the end, thank them for trusting you with all the information, thoughts and feelings.
- Ask what you can do to help them feel better. It is a simple question but a powerful one at the end of patient and helpful listening.
- Keep in touch.
- If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid of saying that (it is so much to experience, just by listening it is overwhelming me, i don’t know how you brave it all. Tell me how do you cope with this?)
- When you feel worried about their safety, call a helpline. All cities have suicide prevention helplines.
Lastly, remember, company and patient listening are most powerful tools to prevent suicide.
A supportive hand and a patient ear go a long way.
Get professional help whenever it crosses your desire or capacity to help.