Today, we are speaking with Sydni Neal of Two Roads Wellness Clinic about warning signs and prevention.
Why is talking about suicide important?
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and the annual suicide rate has increased 24% in the last 15 years.
Talking about depression and suicide can increase the chances that someone will seek help. Feelings of loneliness can increase negative thoughts; but feeling understood and supported can go a long way in prevention.
What are some of the signs of suicidality?
Withdrawal from friends and family members
Changes in the work performance or functioning at school
Unusual gift-giving or giving away of personal possessions
Talking, writing, drawing pictures about death
May talk about unbearable pain or feeling like they are a pain to others
Irrational mood swings and/or an increase in sleep.
What are the steps for prevention?
-Ask: asking about suicidal thoughts after recognizing signs is a good first step. Asking opens the door and shows that you are concerned about the individual.
-Keep them safe: Remove potentially harmful objects from their environment that the person may be able to hurt themselves with. This is especially important if the individual has tried to harm or commit suicide in the past.
-Be there for them whenever they need it: Physically and emotionally supporting an individual who is contemplating suicide can make the difference for them. Knowing that they are supported, cared for, and not alone in their pain is one of the best prevention tools when it comes to suicide.
-Help them connect: Connecting individuals who are contemplating suicide is crucial for long-term support. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1(800)-273-8255 is great first step in connecting the individual to a form of professional help.
The next step would be to connect the individual to more personalized help such as one-on-one counseling. These facilities can be local and convenient, such as Two Road Wellness Clinic which can be reached at (217)-651-6801.
-Follow up: Following up on the individual even after they have reached out and connected with professional help can further those feelings of support and connectedness. Feeling as though they have friends in the community that they can reach out to goes a long way in terms of prevention.