Recognize and Find Support for Suicide Prevention
What You Need to Know – You’re not alone.
Suicide is always a tragic event. Whether you’ve suffered from suicidal thoughts or have lost someone close to you, remember this: you are not alone, ever. Not sure where to start on the road to recovery? You can find comfort for yourself or help someone at risk of suicide right now by learning more about Suicide Prevention.
Many people have experienced or been affected by suicide, whether due to suicidal ideation or family events. Suicide can feel isolating and make you think that there’s no one to turn to. But nothing could be further from the truth. Support groups, hotlines, and medical resources are available for you and your loved ones whenever you need them.
It’s crucial to listen to stories from those in your community who have also been affected by suicide in one way or another. Doing so will help to show you that, while suicide can be a heavy burden to bear, it’s not yours alone to carry. Together, we can provide support and help to prevent suicide in Tarrant County, Texas.
Youth Crisis Hotline
Text CONNECT to 741-741
What are the risk factors for suicide?
Suicide is an extremely complex topic, and it’s different for everyone. However, suicide involves many shared risk factors between individuals or groups.
For instance, some people experience suicidal ideation or feel hopeless due to a sudden stressor or catastrophic life event. These can include losing a job, losing a pet, missing out on a big opportunity, or even having a major fight with a spouse or significant other.
According to the CDC, the main contributing factors for suicide are marriage problems, followed by a crisis that occurred two or more weeks prior to suicidal ideation or attempts. Relationship problems are a major source of life stress for many and can cause even outwardly stable people to spiral into patterns of despair. Problematic substance abuse is also a very common cause of suicide or suicidal ideation.
In addition, some suicide victims experience mental health issues that are un-identified or unsolved by their family members or peers. These can include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, and gender dysphoria.
Is suicide just a mental disorder?
No. In fact, more than 50% of suicide victims don’t have any identifiable mental health condition. Therefore, the societal stigma that suicide is “just something that happens to depressed people” is flat out wrong.
If you or someone you love is currently suffering from suicidal ideation, don’t believe these false rumors. You do not need a mental disorder to be at risk for suicide, which is why it is even more important to spot the warning signs of suicide for yourself and other at-risk individuals.
Warning signs of suicide
The single most important warning sign of suicide is thoughts of self-harm. Sometimes called suicidal ideation, this is not a minor worry or something to be dismissed. In fact, it’s a call for help.
If you know anyone who has talked about self-harm or even casually discussed suicide, you must provide support for them immediately. Contact hotlines and support resources using Recognize & Rise or other organizations. Individuals at risk of suicide can appear outwardly calm, but inside they may feel worse than they seem.
If you have experienced thoughts of self-harm or have suicidal ideation, contact support resources today. Don’t wait; a single day could make all the difference and prevent you from making a tragic mistake.
Remember – you aren’t alone. There are always people willing to stand by you and support you, no matter what.
Additional signs of suicide
Aside from self-harm or suicidal ideation, signs of suicide can include:
- A loss of interest in favorite activities or daily routines
- Talking or writing about death or dying with increasing frequency
- Hopelessness, even about minor things over the course of the day
- Increased use of negative language
- Talk for writing about unbearable feelings
- Predictions of a bad future
- Weight loss or loss of interest in eating
- Increased substance abuse or drug use
- Risky sexual behavior
People may experience more than one indicator of suicide at a time. But signs of suicide risk can also be progressive and subtle. Even friends and family members of a person at risk for suicide may be taken by surprise.
Worldwide, it’s estimated that around 1 million people die per year from suicide. In addition, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death, after accounting for accidents, for individuals aged 10 and 34. Unfortunately, these numbers are not drastically decreasing. Clearly, suicide is a very serious public health problem.
Demographically, men are three times more likely than women to commit suicide, although women are more likely to attempt suicide overall. Suicide is most often carried out by firearms, as they are used in about half of all suicide attempts.
Despite all of these tragic facts, suicide is preventable. Many of the reasons for suicide are temporary or can be alleviated with assistance. However, suicide makes it very difficult for at-risk individuals to seek out or receive help.
What is suicide?
At its core, suicide is not truly a desire to stop living. Instead, suicide is a desperate response that people make to relieve unimaginable or unbearable suffering. Contrary to what some people may say, suicidal individuals are not insane or psychotic, nor do they not necessarily care about anything anymore (even if the suicidal person says otherwise).
Suicide is a last-ditch response to pain or despair. It’s not a sign of weakness or cowardice, either – it’s something that requires attention from loved ones and support groups, as well as immediate intervention by those best equipped to assist the individual.
Suicidal individuals who refuse help are not ungrateful, nor are they really giving up. If you know someone experiencing suicidal ideation, you must not give up on them under any circumstances. If you feel at risk for suicide yourself, please – try to find support today.
Risk factors and warning signs in suicide prevention
Suicide is often associated with various psychological disorders, such as depression and alcoholism. The largest risk factor for suicide is at least one previous attempt at suicide. However, it’s important to understand all the risk factors and warning signs for suicide prevention, especially if you need to help a loved one at risk for suicide.
Risk factors for suicide include but are not limited to:
- The misuse and abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Access to lethal means, such as firearms or prescription medication
- Social isolation and lack of friends or family members
- Chronic disease or disabilities
- A lack of access to behavioral healthcare
- Environmental or work-related stressors
- Social stressors, such as ostracization
Warning signs can seem to arrive spontaneously or may arrive gradually over time. Regardless, any warning signs for suicide are cause for concern and they can include:
- Discussions of self-harm or suicidal ideation
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Weight gain or loss
- Increased use of controlled substances, alcohol, or drugs
- Extreme mood swings
- Talking about revenge or negative feelings
- Reckless behavior, such as unsafe driving or unsafe sexual activity
What to do if you know someone in crisis?
It can be difficult to determine whether someone is at risk for suicide. But if you suspect someone is considering suicide, remember this: take it seriously, every time. Don’t treat it as a minor issue and don’t let the person you’re worried about brush it off.
Instead, have a conversation with that person and ask difficult questions. Ask them whether they are considering suicide if they are having negative thoughts and if they need help.
Perhaps more importantly, you should encourage at-risk individuals to seek help from qualified professionals ASAP. Even if they say that they don’t need help, recommend support channels, hotlines, and substance abuse and mental health services as well as you can.
More than anything else, let the person know that you care deeply about their life. This could be the major factor that helps them get assistance before it’s too late.
Offer help and support
If you know someone is considering suicide, the best thing you can do is to be an empathetic listener. Don’t take responsibility for the negative things affecting them, and don’t try to solve their problems.
Listen, empathize, and do your best to make them feel heard and loved. Offer them unconditional support and courage.
This can be difficult, but it can make all the difference for a person struggling with suicidal ideation. It could even save a life!
I lost someone to suicide
Even if you do everything right, it is still possible to lose someone to suicide. No matter what, remember that you aren’t alone and that you are not responsible for their tragic loss.
If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact the support options above. Tarrant County has support groups available for individuals just like you who have experienced suicide with a family member or friend. And we have additional resources you can use to get the support you need during this trying time.
Practical information for immediately after a loss
Recognize & Rise offers local help for individuals affected by suicide in the Tarrant County area, including support groups, a suicidal crisis line, and more. We also offer wellness exercises you can perform to help you recover or stabilize your mental health.
Reach out to us if you need to and remember that we’re ready to listen and support any way we can!
Are you ready to get help?
The best time to seek help for suicide is now. Contact Recognize & Rise today and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help dealing with thoughts of suicide or if you want assistance preventing the suicide of another person.