Someone you love feeling Suicidal? Use S.A.V.E.

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In honor of Word Suicide Prevention Month, please share this to your social networks, because you could very well save a life.

According to the World Health Organization Every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide somewhere in the world. The death toll in the United States is 40,000 people per year die by suicide.

The hardest thing to do if you feel suicidal is reach out for help, especially if those you count on the most don’t seem to be there for you. I urge you to please do so though, you will be comforted by those who truly understand.  Call 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal:

Big Elephant has created an important article, “What To Do If You Think Someone Might Want to Commit Suicide”. Along with important live saving information, it teaches an easy to remember acronym to make it easy to remember how to help someone you care about.

S.A.V.E.

→ Share – Your concerns with the person and with others who can help.

→ Act – Get immediate help including 911, stay with the person at all times.

→ Validate – Remind the person there is help and that you are there for him/her.

→ Encourage – Continue to be there for the person and support in his/her recovery efforts. This doesn’t mean to manage them or their recovery, just send a text, call, be a friend to them or otherwise stay in touch in a supportive way.

The most loving thing you can do is be there for someone who is at risk for suicide. If you notice someone talking about killing themselves, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped, or in unbearable pain, these are all warning signs that need to be taken seriously. Not all people who attempt suicide talk about it though.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: “A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.”

Warning Signs:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Acting recklessly.
  • Withdrawing from activities.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possession.
  • Suffering from Panic attacks.

Risk Factors

Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life. The more risk factors, the higher the risk.

Environmental Factors

  • Contagion would include exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide.
  • Access to Lethal Means including firearms and drugs.
  • Prolonged Stress Factors which may include harassment, bullying, relationship problems, and unemployment.
  • Stressful Life Events which may include a death, divorce, or job loss.

Medical Factors

  • Mental Health Problems.
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Historical Factors

  • Previous Suicide Attempts.
  • Family History of Suicide Attempts.

In summary, the most important things you can do, Remember S.A.V.E. – Love Each Other – Reach Out. Please share this information with everyone you know because you may not know who needs it most.

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