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There is a common myth that talking about suicide can create or increase the chance of someone harming themselves. This is one of the biggest myths that surround this area. In other words, talking about suicide does not create or increase the risk of someone hurting themselves. So why don't we take this opportunity to talk about what we do if we find ourselves or one of our friends in a situation where they are contemplating suicide.
Believe it or not, a large portion of people contemplating suicide usually communicate their intentions in some shape or form to a friend or family member before they attempt to harm themselves. This should be recognised as an invitation to assist your family member or friend to find professional help.
A large portion of people who take their own lives suffer from depression. So being aware of some of the following signs of depression may be helpful:
Of course a person may have some of these symptoms and not be depressed, as the clinical diagnosis of depression accounts for many and varied factors.
Other warning signs that have been found to be associated with increased risk of suicide include:
If in doubt you could always ask the person directly. You could say something like:
So what if I ask these questions and they say that they are in fact contemplating suicide?
Whilst it can be confronting and scary to hear someone talk about suicide, for the person considering harming themselves, it can be liberating to say the words out loud. It is often such a taboo topic that people avoid actually taking about it, so giving them the opportunity to do so can help a lot.
So if your friend or family member answers yes... what do you do?
The main points to remember are:
Firstly, call an ambulance (Dial 000) if your family member or friend has taken pills or harmed themselves in any way.
If the threat is not as imminent there are many different people you could call to assist you: