September Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month

Spread Love & Not Hate

I have said it before, but I will say it again, life is anything but easy. Currently, we are under trying times and it has been painfully difficult for many months now. NO, COVID-19 has not gone away or anywhere close to it as the president claimed it would. With times being extremely difficult for every single person around the world, I think it is very important to bring some attention to something heartbreaking for many people. September is “Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month”

Suicide is not something that is discussed often because many people do not what they can or should say. Unfortunately, this is something that will impact families and friends long after the tragic loss of their loved ones. Those that are left behind will have to go through the rest of their lives wondering what they could have done differently, but the answers will vary between each person.

I am going to be sharing some very chilling, melancholy, and distressing information regarding this very delicate topic. Over 44,000 Americans each year take their own lives by committing suicide. With that being said, on average on person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, there has already been a serious escalation in the number of suicides.

Sadly to say, suicide is the 4th leading cause of death in people between the ages of 18 and 65. Another incredibly sad and heart-wrenching statistic is for every death by suicide, there are approximately 25 suicide attempts. Men are four times more at risk than women to commit suicide and their most common way to do so is by use of firearms. The suicide rate for men is highest in those that are 75 and older. Men that are battling with substance usage are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide.

Unfortunately, more teens die by suicide than cancer, the flu, and AIDS combined. It is the 2nd leading cause of death in people between the age of 10 and 34. It is thought that 80% of teens who die by suicide showed some warning signs before taking their life, but some can keep their thoughts, pain, and plans hidden very well. That being said, 90% of teens who die by suicide have some type of mental health issue or issues.

While it is 2020 and we should be more evolved and accepting by now, but regrettably many are still not. LGBTQIA youth have four times greater of a chance to attempting suicide than other young people. Also, LGBTQIA individuals with unaccepting families are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than those that have more accepting, evolved, and understanding families.

It may not be easy or even always clear, but some warning signs could be alarming, urgent, and possibly a cry for help. The signs include, but are not limited to:

1.Talking about wanting to die

2 Searching or looking for a way to kill one’s self

3.Talking about not having any reason to live

4.Giving away valuable/prized possessions

5.Acting or displaying new anxiousness or agitation

6.Talking about being in unbearable pain

7.Sleeping too little or too much

8.Withdrawing or becoming isolated

9.Increased use of alcohol and or drugs

10.Showing rage and or seeking revenge

11.Displaying extreme mood swings

12.Talking about being a burden to others

13.Exhibiting new daring or risk-taking behaviors

14.Showing a lack of interest for any plans for the future

Helping someone with suicidal thoughts can be challenging and painful, but it may be possible that you could save their life. Several things have been suggested by professionals, which include the following:

Ask: It is completely natural to feel fear when doing this, but do not ever hesitate to come out and ASK the person if they think about dying or killing themselves. By simply asking them, know you are not putting the thoughts in their mind and it will not make them any more likely to attempt suicide.

Listen: Try starting a conversation with the person and just be an ear to LISTEN without passing any judgments. You need to only show that you care and are there for them. Produce a safe space for them to share their feelings and vent freely. One thing that will be important, do not swear to secrecy because, with this type of situation, you might not be able to.

Stay: Once you have started a conversation with the person and they have opened up to you, do not leave that person alone. Make sure you STAY with them or at least make sure they are in a private and secure space with another trustworthy and caring person until you can get further assistance and guidance.

Secure: If you have reason to believe or suspect the person may harm themselves, take them seriously. Be sure you REMOVE any, and all objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and follow their guidance!

***CALL 911 if self-harm seems like an immediate need***

Many years ago, I worked at a children’s hospital. During my years at the children’s hospital, I worked with numerous children that attempted suicide. I would take the time to talk with the child and give them a chance to talk openly about what was causing them the troubles. Of course, I was not a nurse, therapist, or physician and was only a nursing assistant who could show compassion to a troubled teenager. Normally, I was the person that would ride with the child from the hospital to the mental health facility because it was required by law and I wanted to be there for the child. It was difficult listening to the child’s painful stories, but I was able to offer them some friendly and nonjudgmental advice. Some of these children were abused by a relative, others had a recent break-up, and others were troubled by bullies. Often times, children do not feel like they can open up to their parents and have no one they can trust to talk to, which is extremely sad. Children have a hopefully long and great life ahead of them and need role models and people they can trust. These young people are the future and should be encouraged instead of degraded and harmed.

I had a friend in high school that had a tragic and difficult life. She was able to open up to me about some of it and I had firsthand experience with much of what she said. This friend did have her first child our last year in high school, but she remained strong during this. Many years later after her husband and father of her children was murdered, one of her children committed suicide. I know this haunts her to this day and that breaks my heart. I wish I had been able to be there for her during these times, but I was already living 900 miles away and was only able to offer her support through messages and phone calls.

Typically, my posts are a lot more positive and uplifting than this one, but all the information in this post is crucial and needed to be shared. I am so sorry if this is something any of you have experienced and hope your heart is healing from the sadness and that you will be able to help another that goes through something as awful as losing a loved on to suicide. Times around the world are the hardest they have been in decades so now is a time to pay close attention to people that we care about. I believe we all need to stand together and support one another during these troubling times because it is the only way we will make it through with any sanity we have left.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you are doing well, your weekend has been going well and you are staying safe. Y’all already know that I am a very sensitive person, so you will not be surprised that this subject hurts my heart. This is a time we need to support others and spread love and not hate! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

14 thoughts on “September Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I am an adjunct at an arts college, and this year the college required faculty and staff to do suicide prevention training. We need to make this as common as CPR training. If more people are trained, more lives will be spared.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another group of voluble are the homeless. I have seen many who have come and gone. Still hearing of passing of a few who sadly have been out of mind end up dying. Suicide comes from many means….alcohol, Drugs, fights with knives or guns. Many just ride the streets in a head fog being hit by oncoming traffic.

    Here is our local area, Florida has the Baker Act. Anyone can have this person who speaks or intends to harm themselves committed to the county Mental Hospital. I used it years ago on the husband at the time……

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a tough topic to try to tackle. After dealing with families after such an event and listening to their questions I became aware that many people need hope in their life. They feel judged or humiliated in a choice and often don’t feel support to be able to “fail” which leaves them trying to pick up the pieces after something doesn’t work out. Their support system is thready at best and so many are happy to pass judgment and not consider that their opinions, while possibly valid, are just that, an opinion. An old Indian proverb is “I won’t criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in their moccasins.”
    In this world of so many outside influences it is easy to write a post somewhat anonymously and not be able to experience the fallout of or conversations. We need to take sight through someone else’s eyes and be compassionate to what we say and do as people are just looking for someone to validate what they do.
    It is a beautiful day here and one to get out and enjoy. Cheers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more with you. This is a challenging topic and heartbreaking. I do also agree, people need more hope in their lives and it is hard right now for so many. I do not believe in judging others because I have not walked in their shoes and wish more thought like that. I love that Indian proverb and found it very powerful, thank you so much for sharing that with all of us!
      I must say, I love your way of thinking and I am so inspired by your comments. We all need to try the best we can to be understanding and tolerant of others because there might come a day we are in their shoes. Thank you again for this truly sincere and great comment. I enjoy reading your thoughts on any and all topics! Take care and please continue to stay safe and the amazing person you are!!

      Like

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