Suicide Background Information
The numbers of people choosing
to take their own lives is increasing. By some estimates a person tries
to take their life every 39 seconds. Suicide is not limited to a single
age group, racial group, or socioeconomic class.
Currently, among the 15- to 19-year olds, suicide is the second leading cause of death (following accidents). The suicide rate has tripled over the last 30 years in this age group.
The elderly (often following the death of their spouse, or favorite pet) are another large group very much at risk. The evidence is overwhelming, those who talk about suicide may truly be considering it. Take it seriously!
Seek Professional advice immediately. Talk to a Counselor, a Teacher, a Physician.
The important part is for those suffering from depression, friends and family to be able to recognize the warning signs and get help, or help the person exhibiting the signs to get help!
Signs and Symptoms
Do you, or anyone you know have any of the following signs?
There have been several instances when I thought friends or colleagues were in trouble where what they were telling me sounded like a strong "Cry for Help," whether a message on an answering machine, or a letter written out of depression and sent. On these occasions I have made several frantic phone calls to try and find them, make sure they were all right. I usually was not able to reach the person specifically, but contacted someone who was also alerted and then able to get in touch with the person. Fortunately, in each of these instances, the outcome has been a good one. Friends asked me if I thought I was over reacting. "Didn't I know they weren't going to really do themselves any harm?" I will continue to "over react" rather than possibly let a friend down.
The stakes are too high to make that kind of mistake. I have treated many overdose cases in the emergency department, and intensive care unit, pumping stomachs after a drug overdose, treating with 17 doses of Tylenol antidote, or monitoring for cardiac arrhythmias after barbiturate overdoses. I was left wondering was their "Cry for help" noticed. Also you never know for sure what was going through that person's head. You never know that you might be the only person who hears their "Cry for Help." Perhaps the compassion, knowing that someone cares is enough to convince them that live is worth living.
The Samaritans is a UK charity, founded in 1953, which exists to provide confidential emotional support to any person, who is suicidal or despairing; and to increase public awareness of issues around suicide and depression. This service is provided 24 hours every day by trained volunteers, and relies upon public donations.