In the United States alone, someone dies by suicide once every 12 minutes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24 and the first leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 17 in Tennessee.
Suicide affects people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic groups. And while there is no typical victim, suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death. Anyone can step in and prevent a tragedy, if they know how to spot someone in crisis and how to approach them.
Because suicide has been considered such a “taboo” subject to think or to talk about, there are a lot of misconceptions about which individuals may be at risk, about when, how and why people might consider killing themselves, and about how best to help yourself or someone else who’s contemplating suicide.
The reality is:
What can you do if you suspect someone is contemplating suicide?
- Be aware. Learn the warning signs.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Ask if s/he is thinking about suicide.
- Be direct. Talk openly and freely about suicide.
- Be willing to listen. Allow for expressions of feelings and accept those feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture the value of life.
- Don’t dare him/her to do it.