Why is World Suicide Prevention Day important? It is important because it reminds us that suicide is real and sadly it does exist.
Some people think that suicide is contagious, that if you speak about it, out loud, it will give others ideations. This is not true. In fact, it is the opposite. The more we speak up and talk about suicide and mental illness, the greater the chances are to prevent it or at the least, it will bring up a conversation that wouldn’t have been brought up if it hadn’t been asked.
So, on this day, let’s join in the conversation. If someone you know is feeling depressed, isolating themselves, showing signs of self-harm, withdrawing from normal activities, taking on more risks than normal, talking about immortality, giving away personal items, fits of anger or aggression, or obsessed with death – pull them aside and ask them if they are thinking about suicide. Then be prepared to sit down with them and listen, and with any luck, they will open up to you. But you must listen with kindness; without judgement, because they need to feel safe with their thoughts and their feelings about their darkest moment.
And as always, you are not alone in this journey called life.