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Suicide And Suicide Prevention

Suicide And Suicide Prevention

A SHORT LIST OF THINGS TO KNOW & DO 

To Know:

  • Suicidal feelings are experienced by nearly everyone at one time or another.
  • Suicide among adolescents has been on the rise in Canada and the U.S.
  • Those who contemplate, attempt or complete suicide believe (mistakenly) “there is no other way out”.
  • Suicide is driven by the pain of living. The pain can have many faces: depression, low self esteem, loss, hopelessness and meaninglessness.
  • A completed suicide is a permanent response to a temporary problem.
  • The burden of grief for the family and friends of someone who has completed suicide is especially difficult.

To do (when someone is/seems suicidal):

  • Take all threats/attempts seriously. Do not get into the game of deciding what is attention-getting and what is serious.
  • Along with caring, bring the boldness and courage to ask the question. (example: “Have you been thinking about suicide?).
  • Encourage the person to seek and get help. Show a willingness to be involved, even if necessary, to help the person to get help.
  • Do not make a promise “not to tell anyone” if someone tells you they are contemplating suicide.
  • Try to get the person to make a promise to you (“Promise me you won’t do anything until”…)

Ken Westereng (B.A., M. Div.)

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