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  • Writer's pictureDenise Jittan-Johnson, Clinical Psychologist

Five Things You can do to Prevent Suicide

World Suicide Prevention Day - Creating hope through action



World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and to

promote action through proven means that will reduce the number of suicides and

suicide attempts globally.


Five things you can do to prevent suicide:


1. ASK:

Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts. In fact, studies suggest the opposite: findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.


2. BE THERE:

Connectedness is a key protective factor, not only against suicide as a whole, but in terms of the escalation of thoughts of suicide to action. Their research has also shown connectedness acts as a buffer against hopelessness and psychological pain. By “being there,” we have a chance to alleviate or eliminate some of these significant factors.


3. KEEP THEM SAFE:

The myth “If someone really wants to kill themselves, they’ll find a way to do it” often does not hold true if appropriate safety measures are put into place. The Keep Them Safe step is really about showing support for someone during the times when they have thoughts of suicide by putting time and distance between the person and their chosen method, especially methods that have shown higher lethality (like firearms and medications).


4. ACCESS TO SUPPORT:

Helping someone with thoughts of suicide connect with ongoing supports can help them establish a safety net for those moments they find themselves in a crisis. Additional components of a safety net might be connecting them with supports and resources in their communities. Explore some of these possible supports with them. Hotline support numbers: 800-5588 LifelineTT (24hrs) or 866-7426 RCSTT (6pm-6am)


5. FOLLOW UP:

After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow-up with them to see how they’re doing. Leave a message, send a text, or give them a call. The follow-up step is a great time to check in with them to see if there is more you are capable of helping with




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