September 9th through 15th is suicide prevention week. So many lives are lost needlessly when people struggle with challenges they cannot face, due to life circumstances and mental health. In the U.S alone, the suicide rate has climbed more than 30% in more than half the country since 1999.
When a person takes their life, we can’t blame ourselves, but knowing the signs to look for can help tremendously when it comes to intervening when it matters and getting someone the help they need.
Here are the top 5 signs to look for, according to experts:
1) Sudden Calmness
According to the Cleveland Clinic, when a person who suffers from depression or extreme moodiness suddenly becomes uncharacteristically calm, it can be a bad sign. This person may have made a decision to end their life.
2) Recent Trauma
While mental health problems are at the root of many suicides, life trauma can also be a trigger. If someone you know has suffered a terrible break up, lost a job, experienced deep financial problems or personal loss, or been diagnosed with a major illness, depending on their disposition, they could be at risk of committing suicide.
Someone who threatens to take their own life should always be taken seriously.
4) Making Preparations
Often times, (but not always), someone who is about to commit suicide will get their life in order. This can include tidying their house, fixing finances, visiting friends and family one last time and giving away personal items.
Some people are naturally more responsible in their behavior than others. But if someone you know begins acting increasingly recklessly, it can indicate depression is lingering. This can include dangerous driving, unsafe sex, binge drinking and other drug-related activities.
How can you help?
Talk about it. If someone close to you displays behavior that sets off alarm bells, ask them if they feel suicidal or depressed.
Offer to help them seek out professional help. Keep a watch over the person, and don’t leave them alone.
If needed, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room for immediate help.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
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