The issue of suicide is a complex one and there are a lot of factors that can be involved and there is not one cause. For example, not everyone who commits suicide has a mental illness and not all people with a mental illness think about suicide but that is a common misconception people have. There are common warning signs of suicide you can look for. It is not a moral weakness; people are in a lot of emotional pain. Things like loss, trauma, addiction, physical illness, depression, life changes and family life can impact or contribute to the decision they make. How they react to these things and the intolerable pain and despair they feel can overwhelm them. Each suicide is unique in its mix of connected factors.
Most suicides can be prevented and there are resources that can help including a suicide prevention charity website as well as other options. There are things that should be focused on at a national level as well as at a community level such as better training for advocates and health workers, less access to the means people commit suicide, treatment for those with mental illnesses, better access to faster healthcare, better follow up to those who have attempted suicide, more responsible media reporting and everyone helping with the promotion of mental health well-being.
Very few people commit suicide and do not give any signs it is coming. When you know the warning signs of suicide and learn how to respond you can act appropriately. Always take threats seriously and be aware that even when people seem to be doing better they might have a short period of despair return and turn back to suicide. It is also true that just because someone tried once does not mean they are always going to try again.
What actions can you take to help?
Here are some things to do to help on a personal level and on a wider level. Everything counts so anything you can do will help!
- Use the right language for example rather than committed suicide or successful suicide, use suicide or died by suicide.
- Pay more attention to not just others’ well-being and mental health but to yours as well, and lead by example.
- Take some training – just as you can learn first aid skills so can you learn intervention training and emotional skills. Encourage others you know to take training too.
- Volunteer with groups locally to support people either those who are suicidal or those who are affected by it, or both.
- Talk about suicide and tell others it is okay to be open and talk about it.
- Support people you know who are going through a challenge whether mental health issues, illness or difficult times.
- Raise funds for a suicide prevention charity you choose to support.
- Take action to encourage officials to improve the mental health system, change policies and make sure there are programs available.
- Head out to a world suicide prevention day event or even host your own.
Pankaj Majumder, a seasoned Civil Engineer, combines technical expertise with a passion for innovative infrastructure solutions. With a strong academic background and diverse project experience, he excels in creating sustainable and resilient structures that shape the future of urban development.
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