Let’s start by talking about the theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day. ”Creating Hope Through Actions.” Isn’t this such a powerful Call to action?
The theme serves as a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide; and that through our action we can encourage hope and strengthen prevention. In addition, we signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them. No matter how big or small our actions are, they count and they can make a difference!
Join us at AIESEC as we celebrate this Day on the 10th of September.
Why do we celebrate this day?
Did you know that as of 2023, it is estimated that there are currently over 700,000 suicides each year worldwide? Besides, suicide has severe public health issues with numerous social, emotional and economic repercussions. For example, suicide or suicide attempts can affect the health and well-being of friends, loved ones, co-workers or even the community.
With that being said, what is the difference between suicide and suicide attempt?
Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die.
A suicide attempt is when someone harms themselves with any intent to end their life, but they don’t die as a result of their actions.
What could cause someone to start having suicidal thoughts?
Well, there could be many reasons. Suicide does not discriminate by age, gender, wealth, race, religious preference or sexuality. We are going to mention some of the reasons:
Some of the symptoms of depression would include low mood, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. It can cause those suffering to become isolated, withdrawing from friends, family and any social activities. This could be caused by various reasons like the loss of a job, relationship issues, financial strain or even the loss of a loved one.
2. Alcohol Addiction
Taking alcohol to numb your emotional pain or when you are upset is likely to lead you to suicidal thoughts.
3. Personality Disorders
Those who suffer from this have difficulty controlling their emotions and cognitive processes. They are frequently prone to mental storms in which they struggle with tremendous self-destructive feelings. Personality disorders are often long-term and can result in major self-harm and suicide attempts.
4. Bipolar Disorders
Do you know of someone who experiences extremely low moods or energetic highs? Has excessive mood swings? Yes, this person is bipolar. Both of these moods can be damaging.
Some tips on how to deal with suicidal thoughts
Before we even dive into this, did you also know that one in five people experience suicidal thoughts? So if by any chance you feel this way…don’t feel alone. What’s important for you to know is that there are lots of ways of dealing with these feelings and overcoming them. It’s possible to come out the other side and feel okay again. There is always light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Take the first step and talk to someone you trust. Talking to someone can be scary even if it’s someone you trust so it's good to plan how you're going to express yourself or you might end up not talking to that person.
Speak to a professional if you're not comfortable talking to someone you know. Some confidential helplines and therapists care and want you to feel better.
Use a grounding technique like concentrating on taking it slow or taking deep breaths.
When reaching out to someone who is going through this?
Prepare to speak with them in a suitable setting. You should go somewhere where you won't be interrupted and where the person feels relaxed and at ease. This will encourage them to open up and interact with you.
If they go silent or withdraw…start the conversation by explaining that you have been worried about them, without making them feel guilty. Try to understand their situation without confronting them.
Take time to think about what you would like to ask them so that you're able to ask relevant questions and at the same time be considerate about their emotions.
Regularly communicate or spend time with the individual. This will show them that there are individuals out there who care about them and want to help them. You will also gain their trust and provide them with an opportunity to open up and discuss any difficulties they are experiencing, allowing them to avoid dealing with their thoughts and feelings on their own.
In relation to this topic, mental health is an essential part of SDG 3, as it is important for overall well-being. Suicide prevention often revolves around promoting mental health and providing support and resources for those struggling with mental health issues.
Call to action
We believe that suicide can be avoided. Everyone can help to save lives. We have to aim to build healthy and strong individuals, families, and communities.
“Mental health…is not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.”- Noam Shpancer.