Embracing Hope in Hard Times: Suicide Prevention and Emotional Wellness
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They say everyone you meet is fighting a battle of their own. Sometimes those battles can become so trying people reach the point of despair. Get to know the warning signs that someone is losing hope and take steps before tragedy occurs.
Significant and preventable. Suicide is a chief cause of premature, preventable death. According to some statistics, nearly a dozen out of every 100,000 Canadians committed suicide in 2009. Of those suicides, it is estimated that 100,000 years of potential life were lost. While the majority of people who commit suicide suffer with depression, those who lose their lives come from all sorts of circumstances. There is no one background, social status, age, or gender who commits suicide, and the tragic ramifications extend to family members, friends, and communities.
Immediate help! The following signs indicate someone is considering suicide and is in immediate danger. If these apply to you or someone you love, seek help immediately:
If you recognize these signs, please call a suicide prevention helpline or contact a mental health professional immediately.
Increased risk. Be alert to certain behaviors following a traumatic event, such as a divorce, death, or job loss. These behaviors warrant concern and indicate someone is at an increased risk for suicide:
Other behavioral changes that some professionals warn could indicate someone is considering suicide include changes in eating habits, changes in personality such as becoming apathetic or indecisive, behavioral changes such as lower concentration on work or school, and expressions of low self-worth including guilt, shame, or self-loathing.
Connected concerns. Note there is a connection between substance abuse and suicide. As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out, substance abuse and suicide are often linked together. Those who rely on substances as a coping mechanism frequently experience other suicide risk factors. They can suffer with depression and are more inclined to experience financial and social troubles. Those who engage in impulsive, high-risk behaviors also appear to be more prone to abuse substances and engage in other activities that can cause self-harm. If you or someone you know is suffering with an addiction, it’s vital to reach out for help. As ADrugRehab.orgexplains, “Addiction destroys relationships, homes, finances and trust…[Addiction] is progressive and chronic in its active state. Addiction affects the wealthy and the destitute alike and rushes with a force that knocks even the most abled family member or friend off their feet.”
Emotional wellness. Are you thriving emotionally? We all suffer ups and downs in life, and it’s important to recognize when you are struggling and when you need assistance. UC Davis describes emotional wellness as your ability to manage stress, maintain self-care, and learn and develop from the situations you face. If you aren’t sure how you’re doing, gauge your status with an online emotional well-being assessment.
Stay hopeful. It’s vital to find hope in life, even when times are difficult. Know the signs someone is considering suicide and be alert to indicators that a friend or loved one is at increased risk. If you or someone you love is struggling, reach out to prevent tragedy.