An article released recently just revealed that rates of suicide are the highest in 30 years. In an effort to break down the stigma and encourage you to find help or encourage your friends and family to seek the help they need, let's go over some common warning signs so we can prevent these tragedies from happening.
- Notice significant change in mood and overall functioning (e.g. feeling down in the dumps, lack of motivation, crying spells, sleeping too much, eating too much or too little, feeling hopeless)
- Saying or hearing things that sound like an acceptance that there's no hope, that they are a burden, that they're better off dead
- Being withdrawn/not seeing or hearing from this person for a long time
- Getting affairs in order (e.g. selling or giving away personal items, paying off debts, making a will)
Many people who intend to follow through on suicidal plans tell someone before they do it. If someone confides in you, it's ok to feel overwhelmed. It's even ok to be confused as to how you should handle it. Please take them seriously and refer them to help. As I've written in the past, if someone has the courage to disclose that they're in trouble and it goes poorly, it could discourage them from reaching out to anyone else.
If you or someone you know is in trouble, here are some great resources to keep in mind:
These resources are great for someone in crisis so they can step away from any dangerous plans they may have. Once they are in a safe place, the next best step is to find a therapist for ongoing treatment so new perspectives can be found and hope can be restored. You can check who is in-network through insurance, view therapists in your area through Psychology Today, or ask for referrals from loved ones. They're all good options as long as the person finds the help they need.
Happy mental health!