Contrary to the TV show Mash’s theme song, suicide is not painless. It cuts a wide swath of trauma, pain and a lifetime of grief in the lives of the victim’s family, friends, co-workers and the community. And there are no take backs.
Suicide, What to do? Keep the person safe
*If someone tells you they want to die or are thinking of killing themselves. Take them seriously. Stop what you are doing; nothing is more important than this person in this moment. ! Here are some questions which can be helpful to ask:
*Have you ever tried to commit suicide before?
*Has anyone in your family attempted suicide?
*Find out what are you thinking and planning.
*When are you thinking of executing the plan?
*Find out if they do have access to a lethal method for following through with a plan
*Call 9-11 or get them to the nearest emergency room as quickly as possible.
*Stay with them, do not leave them alone.
*Put away all leave lethal means. For example: Guns, knives, razor blades, household poisons, unlocked cars, prescription pain medications or sedatives, Tylenol or the generic form of Tylenol. And more, research on the web is extensive and helpful.
It is imperative to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. If someone is talking about suicide – it is serious. It may be for attention – it is because they NEED attention. If you can’t give it, get them to someone who can.
If you, or someone you love is contemplating suicide as a solution to life problems – please seek help.
If suicidal thoughts occur more when under the influence of drugs (prescribed or not) and/or alcohol seek substance abuse treatment. It can make a huge difference. I have seen it in many, many lives.
Teens and suicide:
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths aged 15-24.
Young people attempt suicide at an alarmingly high rate: among 15-24 year olds, there is one suicide for every 100-200 attempts.
Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death among youths aged 5-14.
A youth suicide (aged 15-24) occurs every 100 minutes.
Young people can become emotionally distraught rather easily and thus are vulnerable to suicidal thoughts.
It is thus important for parents to try and pick up on any possible warning signs for suicide and to seek help for the suicidal youth as quickly as possible. (Please peruse the suicide warning signs page on this website to learn more about what to look for).
Listed below are a few of the problems that can potentially trigger suicidal thoughts in a young person:
- Death of a parent.
- Divorce of parents.
- Feeling like a “pawn” that is being used between feuding, divorced parents.
- Joining a new family with a step-parent and step-siblings.
- Breaking up with a boyfriend / girlfriend.
- Moving to a new community.
- Not feeling accepted by peers.
- Being ridiculed by classmates.
- Feeling misunderstood.
- Any experience perceived to be “humiliating.”
- Alcohol abuse.
- Drug abuse.
- Being bullied by classmates.
Note: Bullying is an extremely serious problem. Please click below for additonal information:
Where to reach out:
National Suicide Hotline – 24/7, live chat à 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Center à 800-273-8255
San Diego Crisis line à888-724-7240
Training to help more: www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org
To help educate your community about teen suicide and teen suicide prevention:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.AFSP.org
If you are a survivor of suicide, there is help for you as well. AFSP and your local Crisis Center generally have support groups for suicide survivors. If you are unable to obtain help on your own, seek professional help.