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Suicide, the awareness of!

If suicide is so easy, then why is talking about it so difficult?

Imagine being so perfect that no-one ever suspects your feeling the opposite broken, damaged, useless, disgusted with yourself, self-loahing. Constantly journaling solely negative thoughts behind closed doors.

How and why would anyone question such behaviour?

High school junior Alexandra Valoras, a straight-A student, class officer and robotics whiz, nonetheless felt she wasn't ever good enough; hiding her despair behind a sunny disposition to the outside world, she ended her life before her 18th birthday. Her parents are now campaigning to raise awareness by doing suicide prevention walks and talks in schools.

Watch their full story here:

Mental Health Awareness week: My partner's suicide made me help others | ITV News

Claire a woman from Rugby whose partner took his own life four weeks before she had a miscarriage has been talking to ITV Central as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Mark, her partner came from a big family. He enjoyed being around family and friends, being the life and soul of the party. Claire was pregnant, and Mark was naturally worried about the future and being a good dad. Even up to the hour before Mark took his life there were no signs that he would not be returning. Following Mark's death, Claire had to be strong for the baby, but unfortunately, she lost the baby 4 weeks later.

During her volunteer role at the Samaritans, Claire received a call from a man of similar age to Mark threatening to commit suicide. As raw and painful as Mark's death still was, it gave Claire the strength and understanding of what this man was going through. Claire wants to use her experience in a positive way to change the culture around suicide and prevent the needless loss of life due to suicide.

Watch their full story here:

Suicide is individual, but the theme is the same. “If I take my life the pain will go away”. Unfortunately, the pain is transferred to the immediate family and friends left behind and then multiplied as there is no answer, no logic, no clue. Potentially, blame can cause family break-ups and lead to depression.

The two stories highlight how complex suicide can be i.e. setting tough goals, high achieving, charismatic, thoughtful, funny, masking etc. There is no simple answer to suicide and suicide prevention, if someone is determined to commit suicide they will. Early intervention is key and spotting the warning signs is a necessary skill.

Warning Signs

The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;

  • Looking for a way to kill oneself;

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;

  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;

  • Talking about being a burden to others;

  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;

  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;

  • Sleeping too little or too much;

  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated;

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and

  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Risk Factors

Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, rather they are characteristics that make it more likely an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders

  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders

  • Hopelessness

  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Major physical or chronic illnesses

  • Previous suicide attempt

  • Family history of suicide

  • Recent job or financial loss

  • Recent loss of relationship

  • Easy access to lethal means

  • Local clusters of suicide

  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation

  • Stigma associated with asking for help

  • Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment

  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma

  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

Protective Factors

Protective factors are characteristics that make a person less likely to engage in suicidal behaviour. Moreover, protective factors can promote resilience and ensure connectedness with others during difficult times, thereby making suicidal behaviours less likely.

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders

  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions

  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide

  • Strong connections to family and community support

  • Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships

  • Skills in problem-solving, conflict resolution and handling problems in a non-violent way

  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation

If you or someone you're supporting needs help, call the Samaritans on 116 123


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