One of the most beautiful parts of life is that everyone is unique. No two people share the same story and that is something that should be celebrated. Unfortunately, every year a countless number of individuals question how valuable their life is. It is estimated that 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide each year and up to 20 million make an attempt on their life.
Mental health is something that needs to be taken very seriously as these numbers are quite staggering. What is even more unsettling is that each of these individuals is surrounded by a community yet they still feel vulnerable and alone.
September 10, 2017, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
This is a day dedicated to raising awareness about suicide and mental health. The theme for this cause is “Take a minute, change a life”. Everyone is encouraged to reach out and offer support to those in your life who may be struggling. As a member of your community, you share a responsibility to offer help to those that are suffering and encourage them to share their story. Sometimes just a few kinds words and an offer to listen can make a world of difference. The smallest actions can help bring about the greatest achievements.
To learn more about suicide prevention day, check out this by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
What We Can Learn From Survivors
There is so much that can be learned from those who have lived through a suicide attempt. The most important lesson being how it could have been prevented. When you speak with a survivor about their story, they often discuss reaching a point where they saw no alternative but to take their own life. This is something we need to address and learn how to stop others from reaching this point.
For many, they admit that dying was not their goal, instead, they wanted someone to intervene. Attempting suicide was their way of letting others know that something was wrong and they needed help. Some survivors even admit that before the attempt, they made a pact to tell someone everything and have them intervene if they simply asked how they were doing. Sadly, many of us fail to do so, and the consequences reflect our community’s lack of action.
To hear a survivor, talk about their story is nothing short of inspirational. Many will talk about what led them to this point and how it could have been avoided. After receiving help, many survivors also begin to become advocates for prevention with almost all saying that the outcome could have been different if someone intervened.
Warning Signs To Look For
In order to prevent suicide attempts, it is important that everyone recognize the signs that someone may be considering ending their life. A tool developed by the American Association of Suicidology is called:
“IS PATH WARM”
I – Ideation (suicidal thoughts)
S – Substance Abuse
P – Purposelessness
A – Anxiety
T – Trapped
H – Hopelessness/Helplessness
W – Withdrawal
A – Anger
R – Recklessness
M – Mood changes
If someone you know is experiencing some of these symptoms, it is important to intervene and just be there to offer support. One conversation could be all it takes to make all the difference in someone’s life.
Resources To Check Out
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are plenty of helpful resources available. Check out the following organizations to learn more about suicide prevention and important information to know.
Become A Part Of World Suicide Prevention Day
The World Health Organization is encouraging everyone to get involved with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2017. This year marks the 15 anniversary of the initiative as millions around the world recognize mental health and offer support to those in need.
It’s important to remember that even though September 10, is a day dedicated to suicide prevention, it is something that should be worked towards every day of the year. Show your support by raising awareness in your community and take part in any events that are scheduled. If there is nothing planned in your area, initiate an event yourself.
Lastly, remember that mental health can affect anyone. If you are concerned about someone you know, take a moment to ask how they’re doing. It could change everything.