Suicide is a pretty taboo subject. As if managing the stigma of mental illness isn’t sufficiently difficult, suicide carries its own emotive responses; everything from embarrassment, humiliation, shame and denial, to stone-walling and ignorance. I am one of the many people seeking to change the public perception of what it is to live with and face the aftermath of the suicide of a loved one in a family … our son.
If a person wants to end his/her life, there are usually warning signs. The loss of a parent or another loved one can have a shocking effect on an individual who has an emotional problem; the loss of prestige at work or at school can have a negative effect. That same person could have been a victim of domestic violence, bullying at school or even via one or another of the popular social media.
If a friend starts talking or writing about suicide; if there is a sudden change in that person’s behavior, it can be a warning sign. If a good student’s grades drop or if he/she stops smiling or ends his/her relatioship with a good friend suddenly and without apparent cause, becomes tearful for no apparent reason, or stops participating in his/her usual activities, beware. If your friend talks about the piles of pills he/she has collected, beware and enlist help.
Students should turn to an adult for guidance. It is advisable not to hesitate as you might be able to save a precious life.