The fourth post on suicide …


If ……….  if ……….  if ………. but there is hope at the end of the tunnel

If someone admits to planning to take his/her life, it might be a good idea to assess whether they have a plan, a weapon in their possession, whether they are planning to overdose and if so, on which pills. It is also advisable to try and find out whether this decision is a sudden one.

If you are aware of someone trying to call you during your sensitive conversation with your depressed friend,  it’s a good time to ask the second caller to text someone else and ask them to send help in the form of a professional. If  that fails, notify the police.

I have been told that suicides are rarely carried out when a second person is present. My late husband and I were aware of the fact that our son was planning to take his life; we had been warned by two psychiatrists in the past … but, we had no way of knowing when that might occur. He was on prescribed medication. In fact, he took what we referred to as a ‘salad of medications,’ but we did not know whether he was taking them regularly as prescribed, any more than we knew when he would give up his fight against paranoid schizophrenia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls suicide the largest public health tragedy. They plan to reduce the approximately 800,000 global suicide rates per year. That  means that approximately every forty seconds one person is taking his/her life. And life is one of the most precious gifts we have. In the 15 to 29-year-old age group, suicide is the second leading cause of death globally.

However, there is hope. If we all become more aware of mental illness and stigma, as well as some warning signs, we can alert medics and a life can be saved. Most people who threaten suicide do not carry their threats through.

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