Have you lost a loved one to Suicide? Do you know someone who has attempted suicide? Do you know how to help someone who is suicidal? There are 23 completed Suicides in South Africa every day. For every Suicide, there are 20 attempted Suicides, and this number could be higher as Suicide is still very under-reported.
“75% of people who attempt suicide give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member. Therefore, it is vital for loved ones to know the warning signs and symptoms of Suicide”, says Clinical Psychologist and SADAG Board Member, Zamo Mbele.
“Many people don’t know how to respond to Suicide, attempted Suicide, and ideation (the feeling of wanting to commit Suicide). Some might frame Suicide attempts as “selfish acts” accusing the individual of not caring for those around them. Suicidal ideation is often brushed off, painted as someone being overdramatic, or dismissed as an empty threat. The truth is that Suicidal people are scared to face it head on – mortality can be a frightening concept!” says Psychologist Gregory Eccles.
World Suicide Prevention Day is on 10 September 2017. Lori, the organiser of this initiative, says: “This is an important day as it resonates all over the world to promote mental health awareness and Suicide prevention as well as remember loved ones who were taken by Suicide. It is vital to make people aware about the warning signs of Suicide and that mental illness be given the priority it deserves in our country.”
There will be a Suicide Awareness Walk in Durban View Park in order to raise awareness for Suicide prevention and support those who have lost loved ones to Suicide. The event will begin at 8:30 and will take place at the Durban View Park, 16 Marine Drive, Umhlanga Rocks. The entry is a donation of R20.
If you or a loved one are seeking help, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) provide FREE telephonic counselling, information and nationwide referrals to Support Groups, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Clinics and more. Online resources such as brochures, articles, self-help tips and videos can be found at www.sadag.org. The SADAG Toll-free Helpline: 0800 70 80 90 and SMS line: 31393 are open 7 days a week, every day of the year, from 8am - 8pm.
SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS
TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE
The person may threaten to take his/her life. He/she may say things like “I wish I was dead” or something more subtle, such as “Nothing matters anymore”.
FEELING DEEPLY DEPRESSED
He/she may feel hopeless, lose interest in work, have crying spells and not enjoy any of the things he/she used to like doing.
A person may begin to withdraw from friends and family.
SHOWING A SUDDEN LIFT IN SPIRITS
A sudden change in mood can mean that the person is thinking about suicide and is relieved that his/her problems will soon end.
PREPARING FOR DEATH
For example, her/she may make unexpected changes in his/her will or give away personal possessions.
SHOW CHANGES IN PERSONALITY
The person may experience changes in eating, sleeping or sexual habits.