AHS Weekly Wellness: Suicide Awareness

AHS Weekly Wellness: Suicide Awareness

Reach out and save lives: understand the signs

September 10 marked World Suicide Prevention Day, an internationally recognized event designed to raise awareness and dispel some of the myths related to suicide.

Suicide affects people of all genders, ages and ethnicities. Each year more Albertans die by suicide than motor vehicle collisions. As a result, many Albertans have been impacted by losing someone to suicide.

Suicide is a preventable tragedy that starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. The following is a list of warning signs that people might give when in distress:

  • Talking about suicide or a plan
  • Giving away personal possessions
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Making statements about hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Personality changes, including lack of self care/neglect of self
  • Increase in drug and alcohol use or risk taking behaviour
  • Becoming cheerful after a period of depression, which may mean the individual has already made the decision to escape their problems through suicide

Suicidal people are in pain and want their pain to end, but do not necessarily want to die.

Asking someone directly if they are suicidal does not put the idea in their head. In fact, talking openly to someone who may be suicidal can provide relief. Being aware of these signs and starting the conversation lets the person know you care and can make a difference so they can get the help they need.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call Health Link at 811.