Suicide Prevention: Know When to Seek Help


10 years ago a very good friend of ours took his own life. It was a tremendous shock to all of his friends and family. He was an amazing, funny, intelligent man who seemed to have it all. However, he never felt that way himself and suffered for many years with bouts of depression. He is dearly missed, even now, 10 years later. If only that night he had called one of us, we would have been there for him.

I know the impact of suicide at first hand and I am passionate about raising the awareness of mental health issues in our society. Wellness is not just about going to the gym, it's about a balance in all aspects of your life, namely your physical, mental, spiritual and financial wellness.

So when Melissa Howard, Head of Prevention at Stop Suicide contacted me about writing an article for my website on suicide, I agreed without hesitation. Her article about Suicide Prevention is well written and informative. Please check out the website http://stopsuicide.info/ for more support and help.

Suicide Prevention: Know When to Seek Help

Phone Numbers to contact for help:

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: (613)702-4446

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Women of Nations: 651.222.5836

Trans Life Line: (877) 330-6366

YouthSpace: 778.783.0177 (Text)

Photo By: Pixabay

Today alone 11 people will commit suicide and 210 more will attempt to take their own life, according to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP). Such a loss is happening daily, and yet it can be prevented – it is never the answer. If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, or have made an attempt, seek help immediately by contacting a crisis hotline in your area. Suicide is 100 percent preventable, so it is important that you recognize the signs that you or someone you know is in crisis so that the appropriate help can be sought.

Depression Beyond the Blues

We all have bad days or even a bad week. Perhaps work has been chaotic or you didn’t get the positive feedback you were expecting. It’s natural to occasionally feel down in the dumps, but it can cross the line and become depression. Feelings of intense hopelessness, despair, and isolation are all common with depression, and it can seem as though you are unable to break free from your own mind. When left untreated, mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety can lead to suicidal thoughts and feeling as though you need to escape. Mental health issues are far more common than you would think, but it can be treated by talking to a professional and setting up a treatment plan that meets your needs. There are people everywhere who want to help you, including professionals, peers, friends, family, etc. Speak up if you are feeling down, but in the same context, speak up if you notice someone struggling.

Changes in Your Behaviour

Each year brings a new you, and you might even change from month to month. However, this is only okay when the changes being made are positive such as changing up your diet, switching from yoga to running as your go-to stress reliever, or trying out a new hobby. However, there are certain behaviours that should serve as a sign that you need to get help. On the extreme end, you could find yourself searching online for ways to end your life, or tying up loose ends by saying goodbyes to friends and family and writing out a will. The changes could be subtle, or have gone on for so long that they have become the norm such as changes in sleeping and eating habits or loss of interest in activities and friends. If you aren’t yourself, or you notice sudden changes in someone, intervention is necessary.

Abuse of Substances

What many don’t realize is that substance abuse has a direct connection to suicide. According to Dr. Paula Clayton, the medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), “You might not be an alcoholic or a drug abuser, but if you take things to make yourself feel better or to numb you, that makes you more vulnerable because it impairs your judgment and makes your thinking not as clear." Substance abuse creates an altered reality in which the effects of drugs and alcohol mislead you to believe that suicide is the solution to your problems. Even if you recognize that the substance abuse is causing the issue, coming off of drugs and alcohol can place you in a state where you feel extremely depressed and sluggish due to the withdrawal, and suicide yet again becomes a risk factor. Like suicide, drugs and alcohol aren’t the answer either, and seeking help for your addiction puts you on the road to recovery.

Depression, behavioural changes, and substance abuse are all risk factors associated with suicidal thoughts and attempts. If you notice these signs in yourself or someone else, speak up. Help is available to you 24/7, it just requires taking that first step.

Phone Numbers to contact for help:

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: (613)702-4446

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

Women of Nations: 651.222.5836

Trans Life Line: (877) 330-6366

YouthSpace: 778.783.0177 (Text)

#wellness #stopsuicide #mentalhealth

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