The founder of a mental health support community, Amy Bleuel, passed away on March 23. The death was reportedly ruled by authorities as a suicide, and many supporters of Bleuel have since sent their messages of support and gratitude to the person who founded Project Semicolon, a support community for mental health that has helped many people deal with their depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide attempts.
The death of Bleuel calls to mind just how important it is to take care of mental health, whether your own or your loved ones'. Even WHO has stressed how depression is impacting millions of lives all around the world, and how important it is to remove the stigma surrounding mental disorders and suicide.
Here are some warning signs to look out for if you suspect that a loved one may commit suicide:
Something to look out for in persons who could be suicidal are words of hopelessness, being a burden, despair, feeling trapped, or having no reason to live anymore. Other times, these people may even talk directly about feeling unbearable pain and killing themselves. These are things that some people may regard as "attention seeking" behavior, but are actually serious signs to look out for.
Reckless Behavior Or Isolation
Reckless behavior such as a sudden increase in alcohol intake could be warning signs of a possible suicide attempt. Self-harm and researching about the different ways to take one's own life are also some of the things that you should look out for.
On the other hand, a person contemplating suicide could also have the sudden urge to isolate themselves from friends and family, and could seem to be putting their affairs in order, such as bequeathing their belongings to their loved ones.
People considering taking their own lives would likely be in a depressed, irritable, or anxious mood for quite some time. However, a sudden change from depression to an unusually positive mood could also indicate that the person has already made the decision to commit suicide.
Should a loved one exhibit these behaviors and you are aware that they are at risk for suicide whether due to a mental health factor, a serious problem that they cannot seem to shake off, or if they have a family history of suicide attempts, one of the first things to do is to take the time to talk to that person in an environment where they will be comfortable to share their feelings. What's important is to let the person know that you are not judging them, and that you are really listening to what they have to say.
If you believe that this person needs professional help, it would be helpful to turn to one of the different suicide prevention organizations so your loved one can get the support that they need, and remove the possible suicide tools such as pills, knives, or household chemicals from the vicinity.
If you or a loved one is in crisis, talk to a friend or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-(TALK) 8255.