Today is a day for us to raise awareness and create discussions around suicide. We need to promote action and share support for people who need it, and change how suicide is understood and discussed within the communities.
Suicide Prevention day aims to:
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The statistics are alarming and shocking. According to World Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds, we lose someone to suicide. And that's approximately 800,000 people in a year! The pandemic has impacted people’s mental health and exacerbated feelings of isolation and vulnerability.
Suicidal thoughts can encompass anyone regardless of age, gender or social status. It is commonly associated with depression, but there is no standard answer for indicators of suicidal tendencies. The key to tackling this is identifying it early and seeking help.
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Ways to help:
Clarity is key. Ask the question - Are you okay? Or How can I help you? And listen to their responses and offer support. At times it’s best to provide a listening ear - maybe you could extend a bit of a listening ear? This could be all that person needs to prevent them from taking their own life. Remember to listen to them carefully, calmly and provide them with reassurance.
Being present helps limit their isolation and gives them a sense of belonging because we all need that. This could be physically or on the phone, and make sure to deliver on the promises you made to them for support.
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Keep them safe
Find quick ways to keep them safe because, at this time, it’s best to act now. Make sure to understand the depth and act accordingly.
Help them connect
Explore with them possible supports system like seeing a professional or helpline. Help them identify and connect with community support and resources.
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Always take time to check in on them; it could be in person, a call or leave a message. It's a great way to show support and establish ways you can continue to support them.
Suicide is preventable, and we need to champion hope for those struggling with suicidal thoughts, mental illness, and those who have lost their loved ones to the same.
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Let's step up and play a role now by reaching out to anyone you know who might need help, share resources on mental health with your friends, family and followers on social media and light a candle for those we have lost. All we know is there is a lot to live for.
Lastly, take time today out and ask your friends, family, or random strangers these three words - Are you okay? Those 3 powerful words will help someone who is struggling.
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Until next time, Love & Light!
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