Suicide And Suicide Prevention
A SHORT LIST OF THINGS TO KNOW & DO
- 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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