8 Ways Anyone Can Prevent Suicide

mental awareness
According to Verywell Mind, in the majority of cases, people who are feeling suicidal are dealing with conditions that will pass in time if only they can get the help that they need. In the meantime, there is much that friends and family members can do to help people who are depressed or contemplating suicide.

Know the Signs
Prevention also involves being able to recognize the signs of suicide, which can include:

Talking about death or suicide
Feelings of hopelessness
Saying that they are a burden
Withdrawing from friends and family
Losing interest in activities
Extreme mood swings
Giving away possessions
Saying goodbye to family and friends

Suicide is a serious problem and any suicide threat or attempt should be taken seriously. According to WHO every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. The following are ways you can help prevent suicide:

1. Don’t Discount Their Feelings

Listen to what they are saying without offering judgments. Don’t be dismissive of their experiences or emotions.
While you may think that their problems aren’t serious enough to warrant suicide, what really matters is how serious they perceive them to be. If it feels important to them, then, in their mind, suicide may seem like a valid option. Most importantly, never dismiss suicidal talk or threats. If a person is making comments that seem to indicate that they are depressed or thinking of taking their own life, you should always take them seriously.

2. Look at Suicide as a Cry for Help

When a person attempts suicide, this isn’t necessarily a sign that they want to die. Instead, it’s an indicator that they are in great emotional pain, but don’t know how to deal with it. Suicide has started to look like their only option to escape a situation that they don’t know how to handle.
If they are still alive, however, they are desperately seeking an alternative to death and attempting suicide is their way of reaching out and saying that they need help.

3. Be a Good Listener

Being able to talk with a caring friend and unburden yourself from your troubles can go a long way in relieving the unbearable build-up of pressure that can lead to a suicide attempt.
Being a good listener doesn’t require any special skills. Be patient and accepting, but avoid getting into an argument or trying to offer simplistic solutions. Avoid any “Have you tried X, Y, or Z” comments that focus on quick “fixes.” Such attempts might come off as insensitive and seem to trivialize what a person is experiencing. Simply be there and show that you

4. Encourage Them to Get Help for Their Depression

Even though some people’s suicides may sometimes seem to come out of the blue, it’s quite likely that they had been depressed for a very long time. Getting prompt professional assistance at the first signs of depression is a very important step in preventing suicide. Working to take away the stigma of depression and encouraging people who are hurting to get the help that they need right away can go a long way in saving lives because the problem is dealt with before it gets too bad.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask About Their Suicidal Feelings

While you may be afraid to bring up the topic of suicide for fear of giving them ideas, the fact is that those thoughts and feelings are there regardless of what you might say. What you are really doing by bringing the topic up is giving them an opportunity to open up to you and allow you help them.

6. If They Are in Danger, Don’t Leave Them Alone

If they seem to be in danger of hurting themselves, do not leave them alone. Take steps to get them away from any means that they could use to hurt themselves, such as weapons or pills. Call 08058820777 and 09030000741 or another emergency number for assistance if need be or offer to transport them to the hospital.

7. Encourage Them to See a Mental Health Professional

It may take some patience and persistence, but urge them to make an appointment with a mental health professional. Once they have made the appointment, continue to maintain contact in order to encourage them to follow through with appointments and treatment plans.
There are also mental health organizations you can reach out to for more information.

8. Know That Secrets Can Kill

If the person asks you to not tell anyone, be aware that you may have to break your promise in order to help him. Having him alive but angry with you is preferable to keeping a promise that leads to him taking his life.
If you believe that a loved one may be thinking of suicide, you can contact Lagos suicide hotlines, by the Lagos State Government: 08058820777 and 09030000741