Friday, March 5, 2010

suicide prevention

In Illinois, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death. There are almost 3 suicides a day. Those 79 years and older are at highest risk for committing suicide.

Statistics show that suicide is either the 2nd or 3rd leading case of death for teenagers (they're not sure because many times suicide is covered up for the sake of the family as an "accident", which in my opinion is stupid because it screws up statistics- a lot).

Obviously this is a problem. We've got to do something to either fix it or at least alleviate it.

Sometimes it feels daunting in the face of so many suicides and so many people who may be showing heavy depression symptoms, but there are a few things that will help reduce the suicide rate if people take them seriously.

First(and the one I feel is most important) is know the signs! It really doesn't take Sherlock. Depression, apathy, decreased or increased appetite, giving away treasured personal belongings. . . It's pretty easy.

Second, if you notice signs, do something. It may not be "just a phase". And even if it is, what if that's that individuals last phase. Grow up. Don't blame it on their need for attention- if they're so depressed that they are thinking about permanently ending their life there is something that needs to be paid attention to!

Thirdly, many times suicidal individuals don't see death as final. This sounds weird, but stick with me. Every time I've considered suicide I just wanted a way out, but not necessarily death. But I didn't see the difference at that point because anything seemed better than what I was going through. Usually a suicidal person will realize this right after they've done something lethal such as swallowed pills or jumped off the bridge. At that moment clarity sets in and they (usually) realize that life isn't worth giving away for something that will pass eventually. So. . . try to get anyone that you recognize suicide warning signs in to realize this- but don't count on it. It's oftentimes too hard to see in the haze of depression.

Fourthly, do what you think is right based on the situation. There have been people who I've known who go to parents of an individual or bosses and report that that person may be suicidal. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn't. In my case- it wasn't. It actually made this a gazillion times worse. Sometimes the right thing to do is go to a teacher or professor, and others it's right to just call the police and report them as suicidal. It all depends on the situation (including personality, severity symptoms/depression, etc).

Fifth, be nice. Don't look down on the person or anything because they're having a hard time. Chances are, if you haven't felt suicidal before, you may in the future, and you wouldn't want someone to think condescendingly about you. Do unto others; just keep it in mind.

For more good stuff (as always!) take a look at .

This website helped me come up with numbers and stuff:


1 comment:

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