Worth Living Ambassador Jade Robledo
Penn State Psychology Student, Mental health advocate and Future Counselor/Mental Health Educator
Caution: this post is about Suicide
The New Plan
What do Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Amy Winehouse, and Chester Bennington have in common?
Sadly, they’re all celebrities who have died by suicide or had their death ruled as a possible suicide.
•Suicide is the 10th leading cause of the death in the US
•Men die by suicide 2.5x more often than woman
•On average, there are 121 suicides per day
-American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
Now, we all know that mental health isn’t treated as important as physical health. Until these death and until movies/shows like Cyberbullying and 13 Reasons Why came out, Suicide had been a hush subject. Something that no one really wants to talk about.
Well, that really needs to stop. We need to talk about it! We need a new plan! We can reduce the daily and yearly rates of suicide by eliminating the stigma of mental illness, suicide and going to therapy. Also getting educated in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) or at least knowing how to approach someone who is or can be suicidal can seriously save lives.
Just being able to listen to someone when they are feeling this way can change so much. Just because someone is suicidal or having suicidal thoughts doesn’t mean they just need to be throw into a mental hospital, they could just need someone to talk to, someone to can. Then if they need it, it’ll be easier to suggest getting further help.
So, you may be thinking.. “I am not a mental health specialist or trained in MHFA… what can I do?”
Well, I have a great answer for you:
1. Get educated so you know when someone may be struggling or so you can identify warning signs. (Lucky for you, I have some info in this post! YAY)
2. Be loving, caring and supportive. Don’t lecture them, that’s the last thing they need. Just let them know that they are loved, cared about and their life matters. They really just need a better support system and there are better ways of bringing up getting the proper help with them and that comes with trust and comfort.
3. DO NOT tell them to “stop being negative,” or “Just be more happy or more positive” or that whatever they are upset about isn’t worth it or there are people out there who has it worst. DO NOT EVER SAY THAT. It’s just insulting to say that to someone who is thinking about hurting or killing themselves and it makes them feel worst then they already do makes them feel that they don’t even deserve someone that truly will talk to them about what’s wrong.
* And also it DOES NOT matter how much worse someone else has it, everything we feel, everything we see and hear is OUR own perspective and OUR OWN reality and that’s serious. You don’t know or can never know how badly someone is hurt because you ARE NOT them, you cannot feel their emotions or hear their thoughts. Everyone struggles, yes, some people may have it worst… but that doesn’t mean you can minimize someone else’s pain.
I know most of the things I’ve been saying in this post is get educated!
⇒Let’s say it one more time for the people in the back… GET EDUCATED! ⇐
My main philosophy for mental health education is ECCS: Education, Communication, Caring and Supporting. Four main things you can do need to do in talking to someone with a mental illness or talking to someone who is or can be suicidal. ECCS is very important in a one to one basis for making sure that person who is or can be suicidal gets better.
Now if this person IS suicidal and is trying to attempt or has a plan, follow MHFA’s AGLEE (5 step plan)
A ssess for risk of suicide or harm
L isten nonjudgmentally
G ive reassurance and information
E ncourage appropriate professional help
E ncourage self-help and other support strategies
– Mental Health First Aid
Getting Educated on Warning Signs
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( US ) : 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text line: Text HOME to 741741 (USA)
Below are suicide prevention, warning signs and ways to approach situations that may lead to suicide and are provided by the National Alliance of Mental Illness and American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (I take no credit in any of the information below or any information in the blockquotes; links are all provided):
Know The Warning Signs
•Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
•Increased alcohol and drug use
•Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
•Dramatic mood swings
•Talking, writing or thinking about death
•Impulsive or reckless behavior
-National Alliance of Mental Illness
If a person talks about:
•Being a burden to others
•Experiencing unbearable pain
•Having no reason to live
Specific things to look out for include:
•Increased use of alcohol or drugs
•Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
•Withdrawing from activities
•Isolating from family and friends
•Sleeping too much or too little
•Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
•Giving away prized possessions
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:
•Loss of interest
-American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Approaching the Situation
•Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
•Calmly ask simple and direct questions, such as “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?” rather than, “Would you rather I call your psychiatrist, your therapist or your case manager?”
•Talk openly and honestly about suicide. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
•If there are multiple people, have one person speak at a time
•Ask what you can do to help
•Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
•Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
•If your loved one asks for something, provide it, as long as the request is safe and reasonable
•If you are nervous, try not to fidget or pace
•If your loved one is having hallucinations or delusions, be gentle and sympathetic, but do not get in an argument about whether the delusions or hallucinations are real
If you are concerned about suicide and don’t know what to do, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
-National Alliance on Mental Illness
Together, we can all make a difference.. even if it’s difference in one life… it matters. Mental Health education needs to start and we need to seriously address suicide prevention plans!
Also as a reminder.. You matter so much. Please remember that. If you or anyone you know is suicidal, please please get help. I can’t stress how much you matter.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text line: Text HOME to 741741 (USA)
You are amazing, you are loved, you are important,
With lots of love,
Please follow my personal blog https://lotsoflovebyjade.wordpress.com/2017/