September is suicide prevention month. According to research by the World Health Organization, suicide is one of the major causes of death in the world with over 800,000 deaths reported annually.
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to identify suicidal behaviour and most suicides catch loved ones by surprise.
Here are some tell-tale signs of suicidal behaviour.
People with suicidal thoughts tend to withdraw and often do not talk about the issues affecting them. The more time spent alone the higher the likelihood of suicidal thoughts.
People are said to have low self-esteem when they lack confidence about who they are and the abilities they have. As a result, individuals will feel inferior to others.
In itself, low self-esteem may not point to suicidal thoughts. However, it leads to other mental health issues that are associated with suicide.
We all have a purpose in this life. When this purpose is no longer worth chasing, people tend to worry about their future and thus become hopeless.
Research has found that hopelessness is one of the risk factors of suicide.
Stressful life events such as unemployment, loss of a close friend, or family member may act as suicide triggers, especially when one is unable to deal with the pressure of loneliness that comes as a result of such events.
In such instances, individuals may develop suicidal thoughts and exhibit suicidal behaviour.
This negatively affects the way you think, feel and act. It causes sadness, loss of interest in activities that one loved, and in some instances, it can lead to suicidal ideations.
If you suspect that someone is contemplating suicide, here are a few ways you can help.
One of the best ways to help your loved one is to show them that they are not alone by offering support. Be there to listen to them and to encourage them. If you are convinced, for any reason, that the person wants to commit suicide, do not leave them alone even as you get them help.
Get them to see a mental health professional
A doctor or a psychologist can help your loved one navigate through the issues of life swiftly and smoothly as they try to set you on the right path. Therefore, help them to get the support and help of a qualified mental health professional.
Help them improve self-esteem
In your capacity, whether as a friend or a relative, try and help the person working towards improving their self-esteem. You can do this by constantly affirming them. Also, help them change their negative mindset by focusing on the positive when around them.
Prevention is always better than cure. Recognizing the warning signs and acting on them immediately is key to suicide prevention. Never neglect a suicidal person, but treat the person with the uttermost seriousness and care for the person at all times.
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