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  • Tanisha Herrin

Suicide Prevention: When Someone You Know Shows Warning Signs

If someone you know is suicidal would you recognize the warning signs? While we all deal with personal struggles, sometimes they can have a serious toll on people we least expect. Hearing about someone taking their own life is always difficult no matter if you knew them personally or not. However, hearing about someone you know taking their own life is unsettling. You may think warning signs are unseen in someone you know well, but this isn’t always the case.

Life brings many challenges people handle on their own. But sometimes dealing with challenges alone is overwhelming. A person may not know how to ask for help or feel they would be a burden to others if they ask. When things get too much to handle by yourself, don’t be afraid to get help. Talk to a professional counselor, support group, or someone you trust. Get your feelings out and be heard. Sometimes people forget others can relate to their feelings even if the situation is different.

If a person you know is in distress and they are thinking about taking their own life or harming themselves in any way, would you know what to look for?

People handle situations differently especially when their feelings and emotions are in a sensitive state. Others may see a person with intentions to take their own life as mentally unstable or weak. Most times this is not true, and fortunately, there is help always available if you’re in a crisis.

Learning warning signs of suicide in someone with intentions of self-harm is a key element of suicide prevention. The following offer a brief overview of signs to recognize:

  • A person talking or has thoughts about suicide.

  • Shows signs and symptoms of major or severe depression.

  • Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.

  • Express feelings of hopelessness or feeling worthless. They may express comments such as “things being better without me.” Changes in mood are noticeable.

  • Makes calls, visits, or sends messages to others saying goodbye.

  • Engages in risky behavior such as drinking or drugs.

Even when signs are not noticeable but you sense something is wrong, encourage them to talk about their feelings and listen to them. Suggest they talk to a professional if they don’t want to open up to you. Offer to support them in any way you can. Let them know you are there for them and that someone is always there to care. Stay positive and let them know they can come to you for help.

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