let’s talk about it. does the mere act of reading that word make you feel uncomfortable? good, then you need to read the rest of this post.
the reason i believe suicide is so tragic is because it’s a death that could be perceived as being preventable. i’m not saying one person is solely responsible for the well-being of another individual, but i am saying WE, as a collective human race, are all responsible for the well-being of others.
when someone is struggling with suicidal ideation, rarely will they explicitly state, “i’m going to kill myself,” but they will, quite often, communicate warning signs that can be just as obvious, if we know what to look for.
if someone says, “i’m really struggling,” or “i’m really not doing well,” - that’s the individual’s attempt at reaching out. it can be hard for the individual to even communicate those phrases, especially when those phrases don’t cause concern or action in others. but they should. any indication that someone is struggling, warrants action. and i don’t just mean sending a text asking if they’re okay. i mean physically going over to their house to spend time with them. check in with them. sit with them and connect with them. as i’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, the sad fact is that no one takes responsibility for anyone else these days - they all expect the individual to speak up, get help, fix themselves. but we can’t do that alone. we need people, friends, to sit alongside us. to walk with us on that journey of getting help. not to leave us.
other things you can do is look for changes in their behaviour - are they becoming isolated? have they lost a lot of weight? have they changed their profile picture to some arbitrary thing? are they engaging in impulsive behaviours? given away some of their belongings? have they mentioned the words “suicide” or “burden” in any conversations? these are all warning signs, along with many others. if you know of any others, please comment them below.
this post comes in light of someone i once knew who took their life recently. something i find to be a complete and utter tragedy.
so please, take responsibility for others. check in on them. talk to them. create an environment in which they feel like they can talk about these dark thoughts. and at the very least, let’s all make talking about suicide not a taboo topic.