Written by Dominique McDonald
Recent studies report that one of the leading causes of death in 15-24 year olds today is suicide. One statistic even goes as far to say that suicide is the second leading cause of death for that demographic. In the past six decades, the suicide rate has overwhelmingly quadrupled for males 15-24 and doubled for females. Most male suicides are gun related, while females tend to turn to pill overdose. People may hear this and think they are powerless in this situation; however it is quite the opposite. There are many precautions you can take to prevent suicide and a big part of that is being aware of the warning signs.
In order to do this, it is important to understand how the concept of suicide becomes a reality for the individual. Some may deem suicide as a last resort to dealing with depression; which can be caused by a number of things. This can be as simple as dealing with family issues or even as drastic as the death of a loved one. The common factor amongst all these things is stress. The stress can become so crippling in that it can cause you to feel hopeless. This hopelessness can quickly overwhelm someone into a downward spiral and end fatally. Luckily, it doesn’t have to reach this point. When we notice an individual exhibiting warning signs we can stop the spiral before it has a chance to get out of control. Here are some key signs to look for in someone that may be considering committing suicide:
- Talks about feeling they don’t matter or no one cares about them
- Openly discusses death or suicide
- Begins to distance themselves away from friends or family
- Shows signs of substance abuse and/or depression
All of these signs are essential in determining whether or not your friend may be considering suicide. So now the question becomes, if you see this happening in someone you know what can you do?
- Talk to them. This may seem like a small thing, but in reality it just may be the thing that saves your friend. Everyone wants to know they have someone who cares about them and in a situation like this; the impact of your friendship is even greater.
- Introduce someone else who is better equipped to handle the situation. A parent, teacher or even a counsellor would be helpful in getting your friend the help they need. This allows you to become their support system. Let them know that they are loved and you want them to be happy and healthy.
- Find them an outlet. The best thing for someone who is dealing with stress is to find a way to release it. Whether that is by playing sports, writing or even music. Finding a healthy stress release is a great way to keep emotions form becoming overwhelming.
Here are a few resources for anyone who feels they need an outlet to speak to:
1-800-273-8255 24 hour hotline