Steps to prevent suicide among teens and adults

Anisa Saigo | Staff Writer

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Flickr User Karolina Kabat

Suicide is a form of depression. These feelings of not being content with life can can put someone down or make them feel incomplete.

Although not everyone goes through a time in their life when they are suicidal, many do. It can be a best friend, cousin, sibling, or even your parent.

It is important to notice the signs. With National Suicide Prevention Month in mind, here are some steps to help prevent losing a loved one.

First, watch for warning signs. Four out of five teen suicide attempts are preceded by clear warning signs, according to PsychologyBenefits.org. Warning signs won’t always give away suicidal behavior, but they shouldn’t be ignored. Some signs include changes in personality, behavior and eating habits.

Secondly, take preventive measures. You don’t want to wait until the last straw to take action. Sometimes, it’s best to help take control of a situation. You may be the only one to get through and can save someone’s life. You can keep an eye on social media accounts, interact with the person regularly, address concerns with other people in their life, or be direct and ask about the suicidal thoughts and see if you can give advice to help.

Next, ask to seek mental health help. Mental health professionals can be extremely helpful. Find a mental health provider who has experience with suicidal patients. Make sure that you and whomever you’re helping is comfortable with that person.

Step four is to be aware of the risk factors. Suicidepreventions.com says, “Recognize certain situations and conditions that are associated with an increased risk of suicide.”

Some threatening situations include mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, aggressive behavior and loss of interest in hobbies and friends. Bullying or being bullied, access to firearms, low self-esteem, guilt, and loneliness are warning signs as well. Fears related to sexual orientation, identity confusion and a lack of acceptance from family and friends could also contribute to suicidal thoughts. Family violence and family history of suicide are also huge risk factors to monitor.

People do not have to be mentally ill to be suicidal. It can be triggered from many situations.

According to Naspaonline.org, “There are sometimes specific situations that trigger suicidal actions, such as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, failing in school, being bullied, or experiencing abuse, loss or other trauma. It is important to learn these warning signs and what to do if you see any them in yourself or a friend.”

You can help save a life by paying attention to these signs.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress at 1-800-273-8255.

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