It’s OK to talk about it…
Today (10 September) is World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s well known that the overall suicide rate is higher in New Zealand than in most other developed nations, and according to Coronial Services, 74% of all suicides in N.Z. are male. However, instances of pre-teen, female and elderly suicide are all on the rise it seems.
According to Lifeline, most suicidal individuals give warning signs of their intentions, so if we learn to recognise them, we can hopefully intervene. Signs include:
- low mood or depression
- increased use of alcohol or drugs
- giving away possessions, tidying up “loose ends”
Depression is a significant indicator of suicide risk. Anyone can reach the end of their tether if their situation is sufficiently distressing, or they have been depressed long enough. Depression is a treatable disease.
- People need to be shown that they are not alone and encouraged to speak about their feelings.
- Men especially, link their self-esteem to their job and can become very depressed at retirement or redundancy.
- Some people try to blot out their internal anxieties and depression with alcohol and drugs, which compounds the problem.
- Whenever we share our positivity with someone else, we increase its power. When we share our negativity, we decrease its power.
- Although depression is quite common, many people do not go to their doctor about it.
International post-disaster research shows antisocial behaviour and suicide attempts peak in the third year of recovery after a natural disaster, which is something Christchurch survivors need to be aware of also.
If you are concerned about someone, ask them if they are thinking about suicide. If you are really worried, do not leave them alone. Get help by calling Youthline 0800 376 633 / Lifeline 0800 543 354 / Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 / Emergency Services 111. You can also text the Lowdown on 5626 or go online to instant message.
There are also many websites with further information, and resources held at your local library. Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out for help.
Related articles (please note the numbers quoted in these articles are not for N.Z.)
- Suicide Prevention (empatheticactivist.wordpress.com)
- Depression and Suicide in Old Age (everydayhealth.com)
- National Suicide Prevention Week 2013 (ohhaiiitsbrandii.wordpress.com)