Learn the Warning Signs of Suicide and How to Prevent It


Photo credit by Francisco Moreno

Every year, over 4,000 Canadians die from suicide. While suicide rates are declining, it still affects people of all ages and backgrounds. However, 75 percent of suicide victims are men and more than half involve people over the age of 45.

And, in 2017 the BBC reported that teen suicide was on the rise among Canadian girls, increasing by 38 percent, while white male suicide rates decreased by 34 percent. With so many disparate groups at risk, can there be a way to prevent it? First, it’s necessary to take a look at what drives people to suicide.

What Leads To Suicide?

There are numerous causes of suicide, but some of the top risk factors include substance abuse and mental illnesses such as clinical depression. In fact, depression is found in 50 percent of all suicides. Learn more about the various form of depression, including seasonal affective disorders, which is a special case.

Other contributing factors include isolation and loneliness. Research shows that married people have a lower rate of suicide than single, divorced, or widowed people. Breakups in serious relationships often precipitate suicide, too. Traumatic events can also bring on suicidal thoughts. Read more detail in “15 Common Causes of Suicide: Why Do People Kill Themselves.”

Look Out For These Warning Signs

While there are numerous causes and factors, the warning signs that someone is in danger of suicide are universal. They include:

– Thinking or talking about death or suicide. This is a critical warning sign and should be taken seriously. If you see this behavior, get help immediately by calling 911 or a crisis hotline.
– Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs.
– Dramatic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal, acute rage, and mood swings.

Mental Wellness Helps Prevent Suicide

Lately, more research is being done on protective factors that can help prevent suicide. It’s important for people who are at high risk, such as those who are struggling with depression, substance abuse, and trauma, to find pathways to mental wellness.

Some of the top ways people can protect themselves include:

– Seeking help or counseling for any kind of depression.
For those with substance abuse problems, it is imperative to get into a recovery program as soon as possible.
– Access to healthy support systems, which can include friends and family, as well as support groups, faith or community help programs, assistance from health insurance or employer programs, and volunteer organizations.
– Promoting positive thinking with simple tasks such as gratitude journaling, deep breathing and meditation or prayer.

Preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a special type of depression related to reduced sunlight. Most people get it in the fall and winter. It can have many of the same symptoms of clinical depression, so it’s important to get help if you are experiencing it for an extended period of time. These methods can help combat SAD:

– Light Box Therapy
According to Mayo Clinic, a light box can help you fight SAD by mimicking the feeling of outdoor light inside. It’s important to buy one that is specifically made for SAD. You can ask your doctor about this therapy for more information.
– Plants
Houseplants bring a burst of color and the positive impact of nature into your home. They also can help improve your air quality and help you breathe easier.
– Mood-Boosting Room Colors
Bright paint can have a positive impact on your mood. White, yellows, soft orange and light greens can all improve your space.
– Vitamin D
Sunlight provides much-needed Vitamin D for our bodies. Unfortunately, our bodies may be missing out in the fall and winter seasons. Take a high quality Vitamin D supplement. Ask your doctor how much you should take.

Suicide is a complex issue with many determining factors. However, understanding the risks and warning signs can help prevent it. It’s wise to take these measures to protect emotional health.

mailto:melissa@stopsuicide.info
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