National Suicide Prevention Week began on Sunday, September 9 and runs through the 15th. One of the warning signs is when people isolate themselves and find difficulty connecting with others. But by encouraging people to have conversations about mental health, lives can be saved.
- Say something. While many people believe asking about depression will make it worse, the most effective way to develop a support system is to open the channels of communication.
- Be there to support them. Instead of focusing on negatives of depression, make the conversation about how you can help.
- Keep the individual’s best interests at heart. This helps soften your advice without seeming pushy. Say something like, “Would you be willing to talk to someone else and get a professional opinion? I’m not asking you to give up anything, I just want you to feel better.”
- Offer your time to participate in someone’s daily life. Joining someone with depression in the activities they want to do will demonstrate your willingness to be part of their lives and long-term care.
If you are suffering from depression, there IS help. Don't be afraid to look for it and even more importantly, we all need to keep our eyes open and pay attention to friends and family who may need help and not even realize it. Feel free to share this info, my page and this number
Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours everyday
I love that Vanessa Berben below is opening up some conversation about this subject and giving others the chance to find a voice of compassion and understanding. She is a Suicide Attempt Survivor and tells her entire story below.
Signs someone is suicidal:
- If someone becomes obsessed with a particular death or the concept altogether, this can be a warning sign something is not quite right. A recent example was Kate Spade, who was preoccupied with the suicide of Robin Williams.
- If an individual suddenly develops the desire to give away possessions or form a will, this can be another indication of planning a suicide attempt. The depressed individual may go as far as to say goodbye to specific people.
- Constant rumination and discussion of feelings of hopelessness, no purpose, or no motivation are a substantial sign of declining mental health and that suicide could be around the corner.
- A sufferer’s usual favorite things are no longer admired or desired and no longer produce feelings of pleasure.
- Erratic moods and disrupted sleep schedules are also signs of depression declining to potential suicide.
- Extreme feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and weight changes.
- Comorbidity of substance abuse and depression is a warning sign to watch for suicidal tendencies. This is an indication of the user trying to seek an escape from feelings or a situation with which they are unhappy.
Take all suicide talk seriously
- Regardless, if a loved one seems to be suffering a great deal or just ever so slightly, it should always be taken seriously and referred to a mental health professional. If you hear anyone talking about suicide or you believe someone is suicidal, or if you are suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.