Every 40 Seconds someone dies of suicide.
World Mental Health Day is today, and the focus is on 40 seconds of action.
What does this mean? Well, every 40 seconds, someone in the world commits suicide. Every 40 seconds.
The World Health Organization wants you to take action today…take 40 seconds to let someone know you care.
According to the World Health Organization, “800,000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts.”
Suicides are preventable.
Although many believe that suicide is linked with mental disorders, many suicides happen on impulse. Suicide can affect anyone, anywhere. It can take place in a moment of crisis. Furthermore, situations such as loneliness, financial problems, a break up in a relationship, abuse, physical ailments, violence, or an experience of loss are risk factors in someone committing suicide.
How can we help others?
We need to make sure people have coping mechanisms in place to face challenges they encounter. Whether it’s a youth in school, in college, even an adult in the workplace, access is needed to people they can talk to about their mental health.
Help prevent suicides.
The more we can talk openly about suicide, the less stigma there is around it, the more comfortable people will feel in reaching out to talk through the emotions leading to the actions of suicide.
Someone who has attempted to take his or her life in the past are more likely to try and take their own life again. It’s important to have an open conversation about the issues they’re facing and to know they aren’t alone in those thoughts.
In 2016, I was close to attempting suicide. I never told anyone. I was ashamed to voice my thoughts of being a burden. And I thought not being around would be easier on everyone.
At that time, I had no idea who to reach out to. Instead of talking to someone, I prayed. I was ashamed to talk about what I was dealing with. Prayer helped, but looking back, I should have called a hotline, or talked to a therapist.
I had no access to a therapist because I didn’t have money to pay for one. I didn’t want to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline either (1-800-273-8255). I can’t give you a good reason why. But I knew in the moment that I couldn’t go through with the decision to end my life because I knew the pain it would cause others. Suicide wouldn’t put me out of my misery, and it would only cause misery to others.
I’m sure I had given signs of suicide, but people around aren’t always aware of the signals given. Whether verbal or nonverbal, there could be clues about intentions to end a life.
What are some signals?
When someone says that life isn’t worth living, that’s a big clue. There were several times I couldn’t find the purpose to life or what the point of it was. Although people may assume this is a typical response to the crumbling world around us, if someone voices this opinion, dig deeper into the meaning.
If they’re getting their things in order, giving away prized possessions or saying negative things about themselves – )i.e. – This world is better off without me) probe for more answers as to why they think that.
Long-lasting sadness, moodiness, mood swings, hopelessness, withdrawal or loss of interest in being around others are not only signs of depression, but can lead toward suicide. Recent traumas or life crisis can also be a factor.
Be cognizant of behaviors of the friends and co-workers around you.
Sensitive and compassionate conversations are needed for people who seem to not be themselves. Ask them if they’re feeling okay, if there’s anything they wish to talk about. In most cases, people need to know there’s someone there who cares for them. They may just be looking for someone who can be understanding and listen to their plight.
In many cases, they don’t need advice, they don’t need someone to tell them what to do, they just need a listening ear, someone who will care for them no matter what.
You are never alone.
In my time of trials I realized I needed to depend on God for my healing, therfore, I dove into the Word of God. Through that guidance of learning more about Him, I was able to heal and turn around the thoughts I’d had.
There’s always struggle in the world, and things don’t always go the way we hope they would, but with understanding people, finding the best ways to heal, and getting the help needed, there’s always hope.
Reach out to someone whom you believe to be acting strangely. You never know how you may save someone’s life in the time they need it the most.
Being open and honest with conversations can change it all.
Together, we can help save lives.