Mental health warning signs to watch for on World Suicide Prevention Day
Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday, September 10, Pieta – the suicide prevention charity has shared information on ways you can stay informed if you are worried that someone you love is considering taking their own life.
When a loved one or friend is behaving in a worrying way, it is difficult to know how to help them. Pieta is urging everyone to become more informed on potential ’Signs of Suicide’ that someone may display if they are considering taking their own life, so that you can help your loved one to move away from suicide, and towards hope.
Pieta therapists have found that most people who talk about suicide do not want to die. They simply want to stop the pain they feel. Knowing some of the signs to listen and watch out for is the first step in helping someone:
Some signs to listen for:
· Talking or writing about hurting themselves, dying or saying that they want to die
· Talking about ways to die or having a suicide plan
· Saying that they are ‘trapped’ or have no options in their life
· Saying they have no purpose in their life, that they feel hopeless
· Saying they feel like a burden to those around them
Some signs to watch out for:
· Engaging in self-harm or reckless, risk-taking behaviour
· Giving items away or saying goodbye to people
· Becoming more inward-looking and withdrawing from family and friends
· Changes in their sleep patterns – too much or too little sleep
· Extreme emotions or dramatic changes in mood
· Increasing their use of drugs or alcohol.
When you know the signs, you can follow three simple steps, A.P.R. (Ask – Persuade – Refer) – and just like CPR, it can save a life.
If someone opens up to you, don’t be afraid to Ask them directly if they are thinking of suicide or want to kill themselves. Talking to them openly and honestly is one of the best things you can do. Even just listening is one of the most powerful tools available to us. Once you have asked the question, calmly and gently Persuade them to seek help or to allow you to assist them in getting help.
If you cannot persuade them, remember that Pieta’s 24/7 Crisis Helpline is open 24 hours day on 1800 247 247. As soon as you can, Refer or guide them to Pieta – if you can, make the call with them or travel with them to the appointment.
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