Reaching Out: Recognizing the Signs of Suicide
Statistics show that suicide is growing in severity as an issue in the United Kingdom. One in twelve adults in the UK consider taking their own life at some point, the UK student suicide rate continues to rise, and suicide is now the number one cause of death for young men in the UK.
Despite the growing awareness of mental health issues and the publicized campaigns urging people struggling with suicidal thoughts to reach out, the fact remains that suicide rates are not going down.
This is in part because the focus is more on telling people who are hurting to reach out, instead of reaching out to those we think might be hurting.
“It is incredibly difficult to reach out to others when you are thinking about ending your own life.”
A better way to go about reducing the stigma around suicide and preventing people from making the drastic decision to end their own life is to instead recognize the signs and reach out to others to help them when they cannot help themselves.
Recognizing The Signs
Knowing these signs and being able to recognize them and look out for them in a loved one or someone you know might make it easier to identify an issue and help them.
- Excessive sadness
- Mood swings
- Expressing hopelessness about the future
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Sudden calmness
- Withdrawal from social circles or self-isolation
- Decreased care about hygiene or appearance
- Dangerous impulsive behavior
- Reckless driving
- Unsafe sex
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol without care of personal health
- Recent trauma or difficult life change
- Preparing for suicide
- Visiting family or friends
- Giving away possessions
- Making a will
- Making amends with people
- Talking about death or what they think might come after death
- Threatening suicide
Ways To Reach Out To Someone
If someone you know is exhibiting signs, even just one or two of them, say something! It’s hard to find the words to say, but here are some ways you can reach out to help them
- Ask them if they are having suicidal thoughts, and encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.
- Listen to what they have to say to show you care.
- Let the person know clearly that they are not alone and that you care about them.
- Try to get professional help for the person feeling suicidal.
- Ask them if they are seeing a therapist or if they would be receptive to doing so.
- If they refuse professional help, seek assistance from their parent, partner, doctor, or the person closest to them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and might be headed in the direction of suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to get help and let others remind you of your value.
The NHS help page provides detailed lists of online and phone sources to get short-term immediate help. The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, and provide support and help when you need it the most.
At EmotionMatters we offer counseling and therapy that will explore the root of your depression, support you in working through the issues that are affecting you, and help you get your life back on track.
Let us help you see better options for your future.
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Learn more about Depression
Here are some articles and blogs about depression