Today, September 10th is recognized on a global scale as “World Suicide Prevention Day”. And though this is a tough topic to cover, we must look at the reality of it. Based upon the numbers that the World Health Organization puts out (also known as WHO), roughly 800,000 people took their own life last year. That is nearly one person every 40 seconds. This sad, and gripping statistic is a harsh reality that is often difficult to address. The truth of this problem is that suicide is not disappearing, or even shrinking. Quite the contrary. In fact, suicide rates in the United States alone have risen by 35% from 1999 through 2018. This staggering, and sobering figure tells us that there is problem, and we must address it.
Here at The F.A.M. Project, we spend a lot of our time talking about topics that many families encounter on a daily basis. Some of those topics are not so easy to address, such as “How to limit screen time in your home” and some relate to things fun things such as “Things to do with your family this weekend!” Whatever the topic is, we strive to create articles are not just helpful, but are relatable and spend hours discussing what will be important for parents to read. It is our goal to bring you resources along with HOPE in times of research, curiosity, and even in times of difficulty, trouble and distress.
This may be one of those times…
At its core, The F.A.M. Project is about connecting families and communities together. We believe that this connection can lead to assistance, and ultimately the transformation of a life that may be on the brink of an irreversible decision. An individual that chooses to take their own life has been overtaken by loneliness, emptiness, and hopelessness. These things all play a role in driving someone to this eternal decision. We hope to bridge that gap between the emptiness someone feels, and connecting them with a greater sense of belonging and understanding.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
Not every person will display signs that foreshadow a consideration toward suicide, but there are indicators that must not be ignored, and are often a precursor to a much larger decision that is potentially looming.
* Sudden withdrawal or isolation from others
* Is abnormally agitated, and speaks about anger or rage in an unusual way, sometimes relating to revenge
* has wild and extreme mood swings from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows
* Begins to express a feeling of being a burden on other people, such as loved ones
* Researches online different ways to kill themselves
While this is a shorter list of signs, we understand that you know your loved one, or friend better than we do, and we want to encourage you that there is HOPE.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
* Speak with the person. Really get THEM to do the talking. This would not be the time to point out wrong doings, how a situation could have been handled better, or any of the sort. If there is a real potential that someone may take their life, it is a time for encouragement and hope. Be a light to that person in a dark place. That light is often found in giving the other person a place to speak. To be heard. To feel that their opinion and feelings matter.
* Seek professional help. There are 2 ways to approach this help. First the person who may be showing signs, or talking about suicide needs help that is likely to be beyond what you can personally offer. If they are open to help, do not hesitate to get them the help they need. Second would be help for yourself as well. There are different types of communication styles and avenues that you can discuss with a trained professional, especially when relating to someone who may be considering suicide.
* Take action. Doing nothing, and thinking that this will “just blow over” or that “they would never do something like that” should not be a consideration.
Suicide effects every single race, color, and creed. It does not recognize social status, how much or how little money one person has, or where someone may live. Suicide is a dark and hopeless beast seeking to take the life of our loved ones, and we need to try and do something to prevent this sad and senseless act.
IF you are reading this article and are considering suicide, please reach out, and speak to someone. Right now. You have many options in front of you. Call your most trusted friend, call your local law enforcement, call a crisis help line. If you are living in the United States, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 for FREE help and confidential support IMMEDIATELY. If you speak Spanish you can call 888-628-9454