Mental Health: Ch 11 Preventing Suicide EQ: How do you identify a suicidal person and get them help?
Suicide: The act of intentionally taking one’s own life • Rate has quadrupled in the last 40 years • Third leading cause of death among people between the ages 15-24 • Recent study shows that 27% of high school students have considered suicide at least once in their life • Of those who attempt, 1 in 50 succeeds
Reason for attempts not totally clear, but there • are many factors that may contribute : • Rising rate of divorce has caused feelings of isolation and lack of family support • People move from place to place more often due • to parents loss of a job or transfers which puts them in a position where if things get rough, they don’t have anyone they feel close to • near by to discuss their problems • Many teens live in troubled families, leading them to feel as if they don’t have anyone who loves or cares about them around • Some teens may also experience physical, emotional or sexual abuse • The pressure to succeed in school and in future careers • Increased use of alcohol and other drugs –which will interfere with a person’s judgment and then there’s an increased chance of a person acting on the suicidal impulse • The media has romanticized it to an extent-meaning sometimes when famous people kill themselves, they’re seen as mythic figures, which may send a message that says suicide is romantic and glamorous
Why Would Someone Want to Die? Why Would Someone Want to Die? For teens there are many reasons which are complicated. Most don’t really want to die, they just want to end the emotional pain they are suffering. Their lives can be very stressful, especially if they have low self-esteem One teen may feel like a situation is a crisis, while another may not If they are already experiencing depression, events that occur at other times that would be tolerable, might seem unbearable. If in a crisis situation, they may become confused and make poor decisions. *Tunnel Vision- inability to see all the options available *Suicidal Mindset- feeling that suicide is the only solution to the problems of living
Giving And Getting Help • If you know someone who is suicidal- it’s important to help them to the best of your ability, but it’s not your burden entirely! • If you know someone who kills themselves, it’s never your fault, it’s ultimately their own fault.
80% of people who attempt suicide, have given warning signs • Change in eating and sleeping habits • Withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities • Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away • Use of alcohol or other drugs • Unusual neglect of personal appearance • Marked personality changes • Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork • Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, such as stomaches, headaches, or fatigue, which are often related to emotions. • Giving away favorite possessions • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities • Not tolerating praise or rewards
Intervention Strategies: What Should You Do? • If you suspect a friend is suicide- ask them if they are thinking about committing suicide • If they are then it’s good because they need someone to discuss what’s bothering them • If they aren’t then no harm done-you won’t make them suicidal by mentioning it • Most people who are suicidal often say things to reach out for help • Often they are suicidal over things like: being picked on, being different, lonely, ugly or stupid • You won’t make them feel better about themselves by telling them to “snap out of it, you’re just imaging” things
Intervention Strategies: What Should You Do? • Show you understand by telling them “It must feel terrible to have all that pain and anguish” • Once you find out your friend is suicidal, get help immediately • Tell your parents, teachers, counselors, etc • Could call a local suicide hotline or even the police and or 911
Intervention Strategies: What Should You Do? • Tell, even if your friend makes you promise NOT to tell about their suicidal thoughts • Often they are telling you because they really do want help • Don’t ever feel responsible for what happens once you “break” your promise to your friend. Telling is important and that won’t make your friend hurt themselves. They make their own final decision as to whether or not they want to live.
If You Feel Suicidal • If you ever experience the feeling that life is too much and you want to end it all, seek help! • Tell your parents • Get the professional help of a psychologist or therapist if needed • You must seek help because you’re not in any state of mind to see all the alternatives to suicide • Be willing to take a risk, which is confronting and resolving your problems • Remember that suicide is only one option out of thousands to your problems • Don’t try to fix a temporary problem with a permanent act like suicide