Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 26th 2016 Contents A28
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The World Health Organization
(WHO) estimates that approximate-
ly one million people die each year
from suicide. That staggering figure
makes the prospect of preventing
suicides daunting. But suicides are
The WHO says early identification
and treatment of depression and
alcohol use disorders are key for the
prevention of suicide at individual
level, as well as follow-up contact
with those who have attempted sui-
cide and psychosocial support in
Signs of the suicidal
There are almost always warning
signs from individuals who are sui-
cidal. Often we are not prepared to
recognise the warnings and, even
when we do, we hardly ever know
what to do. It is important to equip
ourselves with the appropriate infor-
mation to help prevent others from
"Suicide is a desperate attempt to
escape suffering that has become
unbearable," says www.helpguide.org.
"Blinded by feelings of self-loathing,
hopelessness and isolation, a suicidal
person can t see any way of finding
relief except through death. But
despite their desire for the pain to
stop, most suicidal people are deeply
conflicted about ending their own
lives. They wish there was an alter-
native to suicide, but they just can t
The following is a list of suicidal
warning signs from the suicide help
• Talking about suicide. Any talk
about suicide, dying, or self-harm,
such as "I wish I hadn t been born,"
"If I see you again..." and "I d be bet-
ter off dead."
• Seeking out lethal means. Seek-
ing access to guns, pills, knives or
other objects that could be used in
a suicide attempt.
• Preoccupation with death.
Unusual focus on death, dying or
violence. Writing poems or stories
• No hope for the future. Feelings
of helplessness, hopelessness and
being trapped. Belief that things will
never get better or change.
• Self-loathing, self-hatred. Feel-
ings of worthlessness, guilt, shame
and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden
• Withdrawing from others. With-
drawing from friends and family.
Increasing social isolation. Desire to
be left alone.
• Sudden sense of calm. A sudden
sense of calm and happiness after
being extremely depressed can mean
that the person has made a decision
to attempt suicide.
There are also common myths that
affect the way we view suicides,
which prevents us from reaching out.
Among them, according to the
University of Notre Dame counselling
• Suicide happens without warn-
ing. We sometimes believe that peo-
ple who talk about suicide don t do
it. This is a myth because although
suicide can be an impulsive act, it is
often thought out and communicated
to others, but people ignore the clues.
• If talking about suicide may give
someone the idea. Also a myth
because experts say "raising the ques-
tion of suicide without shock or dis-
approval shows that you are taking
the person seriously and responding
to their pain."
• Most suicidal people are unde-
cided about living or dying. Suicidal
people are often undecided about
living or dying right up to the last
minute; many gamble that others
will save them.
• Once a person is suicidal, he or
she is suicidal forever. This is also a
myth. People who want to kill them-
selves will not always feel suicidal;
they feel that way until the crisis
person who wants to kill themselves.
The guide says, "No suicide has only
one victim; family members, friends,
and loved ones all suffer from the
loss of a life. You would try to save
someone if you saw them drowning.
Why is suicide any different?"
It is difficult to understand what
drives a person to take their own
lives, but a suicidal person is in so
much pain and sees no other option.
Knowing the signs is the first step
to suicide prevention.
Remember to give emotional sup-
port, encourage the individual to talk
about their suicidal feelings and help
them also to seek professional help.
• Caroline C Ravello is a strategic
communications and media practi-
tioner with over 30 years of profi-
ciency. She holds an MA in Mass
Communications and is pursuing the
MSc in Public Health (MPH) from the
UWI. Write to: email@example.com.
Suicide can be prevented
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
Links Archive October 25th 2016 October 27th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page