Suicide Prevention Month: Understanding Suicide

Image via Guide, Inc.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

It’s always important to support people that are struggling, and because it is suicide prevention month, we should be trying to spread awareness, show compassion, and help others as much as we can right now. There’s a lot we can do this month to help others, so I thought I’d speak about how you can make a difference; whether it affects one person or hundreds!

Image via National Institute of Mental Health

To start off, it’s always helpful to know what the signs of suicidal thoughts and ideation can appear as. One suicidal individual can act differently than another suicidal individual, so knowing how to spot certain signs can be a literal lifesaver. However, make sure you don’t make assumptions and bombard someone with the fact that you think they may be suicidal. Instead, try talking to the person, the people around them, and professionals if you’re concerned. Accusations don’t tend to go well, so it’s a good idea to shy away from doing that in order to make the person feel safe, loved, and cared about.

Something else you can do this month (and every other month) is participating in random acts of friendliness and kindness for your loved ones and strangers if you’re comfortable with that. I’ve heard stories about people who had plans to kill themselves, but stopped from going through with it because a friend/family member/random person decided to do something special for them that day, or were even just nice to them. Something that may be small to you can mean the world to someone else. Remembering to simply be there for people so they know they aren’t alone can keep them in this world for longer.

Image via Healthline

I understand that having a suicidal person in your life can be draining and upsetting for some, but suicide and suicidal thoughts/ideation are more common than people think. There are various reasons that someone may be suicidal, and putting yourself in their shoes and understanding why they feel the way they do can help you empathize with them better. Most people just need someone that understands them and their situation, and being that person for them can make all the difference to their mental health. 

Lastly, we must remember that suicide is not selfish . . . It’s a last resort.