by Kristen Bellows
Thursday, September 10, 2015, is World Suicide Prevention Day. World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was created by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and events are held globally each year to spread awareness about suicide and its prevention. The theme for this year is Reaching Out and Saving Lives. With the World Health Organization reporting over 800,000 people worldwide are committing suicide every year, and even more than that attempting suicide, it is very clear that suicide is a real problem, not just in Canada but in many countries. Something must be done!
How can you know when someone may be considering suicide? How are we supposed to know when someone needs our support? The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has listed 9 warning signs that can help you determine if someone is suicidal. Knowing these warning signs can save lives.
1. They may show a sudden change in mood or behaviour.
2. They may show a sense of hopelessness and/or helplessness.
3. They may say that they want to die or end their life.
4. They may increase their substance use.
5. They may withdraw from people and activities they used to enjoy.
6. They may experience a change in their sleeping patterns.
7. They may have a decrease in their appetite.
8. They may give away their important possessions.
9. They may make preparations for dying (ie: make a will).
It is important to note a few things. Not everyone will display all of these signs. There may be a few or none at all. Every person is unique. Also, every threat of suicide should be taken seriously. If you know that someone you care about is struggling but showing none of the signs above keep checking in on them, give them support and let them know you are there for them.
Check out our blog on how to support someone who is suicidal.