Welcome to Hunter’s House of Hope blog… Our blog will be used to help educate and empower our community on a public platform without all the interruptions called life. Our blog is designed to help the reader take a deep dive into the topics and issues surrounding suicide prevention and awareness. Because we know how busy life can be, each blog will be a quick overview or synopsis of various empirical articles, journals, and other peer reviewed information. Helping the reader absorb the facts in just a few minutes and providing links if curiosity takes control!
Suicide has/is affected all of us in some capacity or another. Maybe someone in your family, peer or co-worker, and if not on a personal level, think of celebrities. The first celebrity I think of is Robin Williams. He sticks out the most because he always played the happiest and funniest parts in real life and animation. Think about those around you right now… The pandemic has really put a strain on our families and friends. According to Psycom, there is a direct correlation between Covid-19 and the spike in suicide rates (The Impact). Between job loss, isolation, and living in constant fear, we all have a pretty good idea why people are more desperate than ever. Leading to suicide ideology and dark times for so many people. That is why we need to be diligent in our efforts to educate ourselves and others on what to look for and how to respond to those we love.
HelpGuide is a non-profit organization that provided a great article on warning signs and how to respond if you believe someone is in danger. First, it’s important to know what causes suicide so that we can know what ques we’re looking for. Depression is the key ingredient when someone is feeling hopeless or alone. Suicide is the boiling point that pushes a person to extreme measures. When someone is suffering so much that they would rather end their life than deal with their situation, it must be pretty bad regardless of our perspective of the situation. Therefore, be sure to speak gently when asking questions and try to avoid passing judgment.
Signs to be aware of (in no particular order):
- If someone is talking about suicide, dying, or self-harm – PAY ATTENTION
- If someone is looking for a means to carry out their curiosity – GET HELP
- If someone is preoccupied with death such as writing poems or using social media – TELL SOMEONE
- If someone sees no hope for the future or they feel helpless – LISTEN CLOSELY
- If someone feels like a burden or worthless which can be derived from shame or guilt – DON’T WAIT TO ACT
- If someone starts giving away possessions or starts making end of life arrangements – WARNING SIGN
- If someone starts withdrawing from your group or family functions or calls to say good-bye at random – START ASKING QUESTIONS
- If someone starts abusing alcohol or drugs in excess, reckless behavior and the opposite a sudden sense of calm after being depressed – STAY ALERT
All of these bullet points are important to remember and always here for your quick reference. However, it’s not just about being able to see the signs if you don’t know how to respond. But with 3 easy steps to remember, you’ll be prepared!!
- Speak up if you’re worried! Don’t wait to say something. You don’t need a medical degree to determine isn’t happy. You can say things like; I’m concerned about you lately or you seem different or not yourself lately… Once you get the person talking, use open ended questions which allows the person room to talk freely. Such as, how can I help or have you thought about getting help?
- Decide the level of risk; low to severe –
- Low – Thoughts about suicide, but no plan.
- Moderate – Thoughts about suicide, but vague plan.
- High – Thoughts about suicide with specific plan but says will not do it.
- Severe – Thought about suicide with specific plan and time set.
- Offer help and support. If you think there is immediate danger to that person, get professional help immediately. If that person needs a friend and some direction, call us, or a nearby crisis center. Encourage that person to get help and follow up with them about their treatment. Be proactive by dropping by their house or plan a night out. Help them by promoting positive life changes like exercise. If you feel like that person needs a tighter support system, reach out to family and friends to create a safety plan to remove potential means of suicide such as pills, weapons, etc. At Hunter’s House of Hope long-term support is crucial for a successful recovery not matter what someone is battling.
Do’s & Do Not’s when talking to someone who might be considering suicide:
DO: Be yourself, listen, be sympathetic and not judgmental, offer hope, and be sure to take the person seriously.
DO NOT: Argue with the person, promise confidentiality, or blame yourself. You cannot fix anyone, but you can direct them on a better path by helping them find the help they need.
To learn more about the information provided, please see the two referencde links listed below.
Helpguide. (September 2020). Suicide Prevention. Retrieved from Suicide Prevention – HelpGuide.org
Psycom. (August 2020). The Impact of Covid-19 on Suicide Rates. Retrieved from The Impact Of Covid-19 On Suicide Rates (psycom.net)