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Suicide prevention strategies

Suicide prevention strategies

By - Uduak Andrew-Bassey

Posted - 13-09-2019

“Every day, we lose many lives to suicide, and many
more are profoundly impacted by their deaths. We
acknowledge all who experience the challenges of
suicidal ideation and those who have lost loved
ones through suicide.” ~WHO 2019

September 10, 2019, marked the celebration of the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge. According to WHO, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people all ages. It is responsible for over 800000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.

What is Suicide?
Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable by intentionally taking one’s life. Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague.

Warning Signs for Suicide Can Include:

  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Anxiety, agitation
  • Pulling away from friends and family
  • Past attempts
  • Extremely self-hating thoughts
  • Feeling like they don’t belong
  • Hopelessness
  • Rage and irritability
  • Feeling trapped
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Feeling that they are a burden to others
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities—“nothing matters”
  • Giving up on themselves
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts, plans, actions
  • Sudden mood changes for the better

How to Prevent Suicide?

The theme for this years WSPD was working together to prevent suicide. Preventing suicide requires the efforts of many. It takes family, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials and, governments.

The following steps can generally help prevent suicide:

  • Learn the warning signs
  • Learn how to reach out and connect friends at risk
  • Seek professional help
  • Encourage positive lifestyle changes like exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep
  • Eliminate potential means of suicide
  • Report suicidal attempt to the appropriate authority


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