“People who die by suicide don’t want to end their lives; they want to end their pain.” – Unknown
I saw this quote, and I pondered it for a long while and realized the enormous truth that resides in such a short sentence. It spoke volumes and made me pause as I sat to write this week’s blog. As we embark on World Suicide Prevention Day tomorrow, September 10th, I felt it was necessary to discuss a subject we tend to sweep under the carpet. But why? Suicide is an uncomfortable topic for most, it’s a trigger for others, but it’s a harsh reality for so many more.
What Do The Statistics Say?
- About 11 people die by suicide in Canada daily
- There are about 4000 deaths by suicide every year in Canada
- A third of the death by suicide in Canada are among people ages 45 to 59
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults ages 15 to 34 years old
- Suicide rates are about 3X higher among men compared to women
The last stat hits home and is one of the many reasons why Heart of a Man exists. As a man who struggles with depression and anxiety, I know I am at risk. It’s something in which I had to come to terms. I fight daily not to become another statistic and want you to join the fight, if not for yourself, but for a loved one who is struggling.
With the worldwide pandemic still looming, yes, COVID is still here; I believe the above statistics are higher and will continue to rise unless we take action. I want to equip you and anyone you may know with the useful tools to help reverse these numbers and begin the process of undoing what is becoming an epidemic.
What Are Some Suicidal Risk Factors?
- Depression (the most common illness among those who die)
- Combination of mood disorder, disruptive behaviour and substance abuse
- Availability of lethal means
- A family history of depression and suicide
- Loss of a family member
- A sense of hopelessness and helplessness
- Trauma (Physical, emotional or sexual abuse, bullying, racial)
- Lack of support network
- Poor Relationship with parents
How Can We Help Those Who Are A Risk Factor To Suicide?
- Engage with the person in a positive way
- Take time to Listen
- Convey empathy – ask if they are thinking about it
- Inquire about the reason (seek understanding to work together)
- Ask if they are planning to harm themselves
- Ask if they have ever attempted before
- Don’t give them false hope (“everything is going to be ok”)
- Don’t try to relate
- Take them seriously
- Educate yourself about depression and other mood disorders
- Make them smile because laughter helps and heals
- Prayer, Love and Support
Help is a phone call or a click away
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8225
- Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 [24/7]
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
“When we recognize that someone is having suicidal thoughts, and we reach out, we are planting a seed of hope that they’re not invisible, that they’re not alone.” – Misty Vaughn Allen
We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable discussing suicide and everything that encompasses the subject.
Our loved ones are dying, and there is so much we can do to prevent their deaths! Lets us provide a safe space where they can have a difficult but necessary conversation. Let us embrace their feelings without judgement. Let’s be the voice that reassures them that they are loved and that their life is worth living.
HOAM is here to help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org