Suicide, the act of taking one s own life, is an all-too-common and tragic public health crisis nowadays, often committed to cope with intense emotional pain. According to WHO, close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries(WHO). Suicide is particularly tragic because it is a preventable death and leaves behind many loved ones and family members, also known as "suicide survivors", who have to suffer this terrible loss.
Suicidal ideation or suicidal thinking is much more common than most people have – in fact, most people have thought about suicide at one point or another. These thoughts are quite troubling, especially as they are usually accompanied by a mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder.
It is critical to know how to recognize and identify signs that a person may be considering suicide.
Note: Warning signs are not always apparent and can differ from person to individual. Many people are straightforward about their thoughts, while others can hide about suicidal thinking and feelings.
The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) suggests the following tips for helping someone who may be going through a crisis:
If you are thinking about suicide or you know someone who feels suicidal, some suicidal people do not display such symptoms and some warning signs may not be apparent people who feel suicidal can try to hide or say they are all right, learn signs about suicide alert and get treatment and support. We are not a medical service or suicide prevention helpline. If you are feeling suicidal, we suggest you immediately call a suicide prevention helpline - e.g. Vandrevala Foundation Helpline - 1 860 266 2345 (24x7), Aasra - +91 22 2754 6669 (24x7).
Know how to recognize suicidal thoughts
Suicide prevention. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml
Understanding suicide. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.
Carrigan, C. G., & Lynch, D. J. (2003). Managing suicide attempts: Guidelines for the primary care physician. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 5(4) 169-174. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419387
Suicide. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/suicide