Suicidal intentions or actions are usually caused by when someone is coping with so much pain, that they do not see an alternative way out. They do not want to reach out not because they do not want help, but because they usually feel as if they are a burden to others. There are usually feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and intense sadness present.
Around 4000 Canadians lose their life every year to suicide, and it is the second most common cause of death among young people. It can however, affect anyone regardless of biology or environment. You do not have to have a mental illness to commit suicide, although they are known to aggravate suicide risks.
If you are feeling suicidal, reach out! The first step is to communicate your feelings with someone. It can be a friend, parent, teacher, or if you feel as if these people would not be supportive, you can make a quick internet search for any crisis lines. They are usually free and 24/7, and provide excellent resources and tools , plus they’re lovely to chat to.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Major warning signs of suicide spell IS PATH WARM:
I—Ideation: thinking about suicide
S—Substance use: problems with drugs or alcohol
P—Purposelessness: feeling like there is no purpose in life or reason for living
A—Anxiety: feeling intense anxiety or feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
T—Trapped: feeling trapped or feeling like there is no way out of a situation
H—Hopelessness or Helplessness: feeling no hope for the future, feeling like things will never get better
W—Withdrawal: avoiding family, friends, or activities
A—Anger: feeling unreasonable anger
R—Recklessness: engaging in risky or harmful activities normally avoided
M—Mood change: a significant change in mood
COMING OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE (PERSONAL STORIES)
SOMEONE IS THREATENING TO COMMIT SUICIDE, WHAT DO I DO?
First, do not make promises that you will not keep or follow through on. If the person is actively suicidal, call a crisis service, the police or drive them to the emergency room to get appropriate treatment. Do not leave the person alone, and do not try to treat them yourself. If the person has attempted suicide, call 911 (or your emergency line).
However, if the person is only discussing with you thoughts and intentions, support and listen to the person. Do not judge as it is not their fault, and try to set up a plan with them reaching for the appropriate support sources such as medical support and therapy, and stick by their side while they go through this terrifying period in their life.