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On Suicide Prevention

Mental Health Awareness Month Exclusive - Written by Sienna Ponce 

The issue of suicide prevention is barely spoken about, but people are dying in silence every day because of suicide. Suicide is the act of taking oneself life. As stated by the World Health Organization, “Self-injury will have a ripple effect on families, colleagues, friends, societies as well as communities”. But what if we put a foot in the ground and stop this massive, growing issue. This could prevent daily suicides from happening as well as attempts. This would better us as a society and as a better world to live in. So, let's talk about suicide prevention and how we can help those who are in need of help.

 According to the World Health Organization, “eight- hundred thousand people die per year due to this issue in our world as of-today”. This is one of the leading causes of death in our society. But there’s hope and a will to stop these tragic incidents. There are signs we in our communities can recognise before anything devastating happens. As written by the National Institute of Mental Health, some of the symptoms are 

  1. Indulging in death or wanting to kill themselves. 

  2. Talking about tremendous guilt and shame. 

  3. Speaking about being a significant burden onto others.

  4. Talking about feeling trapped or thinking they have no options.

  5. Feeling an incredible amount of pain, which can be physical or emotional.

  6. Projecting extreme mood swings, such as switching from very depressed to very happy or timid. 

  7. Giving away valuable possessions

  8. Isolating oneself

These are just some of the underlying signs that can be caught to prevent. If these behaviours or patterns repeat: there are several resources out there that were made to help people reach out and get the help they need. There is the Suicide Prevention Helpline, where you can speak to a crisis counsellor that will talk with you and is professionally trained to deal with these issues. The helpline is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They also offer the option of texting, which provides the same benefits that calling does so no one goes unheard or silenced. They both offer confidentiality for text and call users. No costs to speak to a licensed counsellor as well as long as they need. The time they do interfere is when you are actively suicidal or present harm to yourself. These have all been stated through the Lifeline of Suicide Prevention. 

There are also several apps that have been created to help with crises, self-diagnosis guidance’s, and tips in the day-to-day. In 2021the best-rated apps were Talkspace, Calm, Youper, Headspace, the Mighty, Fabulous, I Am Sober, and so many more. Talkspace matches its users with therapists that are licensed and put them with the one-on-one type of support. This creates and allows them to send text, audio, or video messages whenever they feel needed too. The one for the best mindfulness was the app calm. Calm does its mission by bringing gentle and mindful movement exercises. This allows people to improve their sleep and make relaxing easier. Youper is used as an alternative to therapy due to it being so expensive. This offers an AI-powered option that helps individuals work towards their goals. They also provide words of encouragement and visuals that will keep them on track. 

Many of these apps have the same goal in mind, and some deliver it differently, and some like one over the other. It all has to do with preference, but we can solve this issue or decrease the growing numbers with this prevention. There are so many different resources that are affordable, and this can be solved. We need to lift those who are struggling and be listeners instead of judges.


Works cited-

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml#part_149720


https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide#tab=tab_2


https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

EDITED BY Bhagyashree Prabhutendolkar and Hrudhai Chand