SUN Behavioral Houston, based in Texas, marked this year’s International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day by encouraging their community to learn more about the subject and how they can identify a friend or family member who may be in need of assistance. International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day was formally observed on November 21, but the organization notes that educating oneself is an ongoing exercise. As such, they are taking measures to share their insight with the community on a regular basis, and they welcome all inquiries from those who wish to learn more.
In Warning Signs of Suicide: They Are There if You Know What to Look For, an article that can be found on SUN Behavioral’s website, the organization explores how an individual may determine whether someone close to them is at risk and then approach them in a safe manner to offer help. SUN Behavioral remarks that a link for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is likely to be at the top of a Google search for “Is it okay to ask someone if they are suicidal?” The hotline, however, does not begin by offering advice regarding the individual who may be at risk. Instead, it offers support for the person making the inquiry, acknowledging that this situation must be difficult for them and showing compassion for the anxiety it has caused.
This, according to the company, is an excellent example of how a person may approach a loved one in such circumstances. The article states, “That’s what you can be for your friend: a person who shows them compassion and concern and lets them know you’re there to support them. That’s pretty comforting, right?”
Given that many tend to hide their true thoughts or emotions and attempt to push their way forward through their lives alone, SUN Behavioral encourages their community to foster open discussion that allows members in trouble to move through their situation with help rather than feeling trapped with their feelings of despair, especially the kind that lead them to believe there is no way out. Another advantage of bringing discussion out into the open is that it can reduce the stigma associated with these emotions, helping to diminish shame, sadness, trauma, and so on.
As the article notes, “Suicide is typically planned ahead of time and is rarely spontaneous.” This is why it is important for those concerned to recognize the difference between suicide, suicide attempt, and suicidal ideation (more on this can be found in SUN Behavioral’s article). The organization asserts that, “People who are suicidal might try to hide their feelings or seem unusually calm, but there are some more worrisome signs they are considering it,” and these signs can be difficult to spot without context. Some signs, such as admitting they have considered suicide, self-harming, expressing the belief that everyone would be better off without them around (either despairingly or as a purported joke,) and so on may be more easily identifiable—but they are not the only indicators.
SUN Behavioral explains that individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts may feel a deep shame from a past wrong that they still feel judged for. They may have also endured a recent loss (job, marriage, custody of children, etc.) that affects them on a deep, emotional level. They may express little interest in life or activities that they previously enjoyed. They may even begin giving away possessions that hold deep emotional value to people that are close to them. These signs (and more) can help a concerned party determine whether they should approach their friend.
In the event they believe their loved one is in trouble, the article firmly states here that it is certainly all right to ask if they are suicidal. “Now carefully read through this list above one more time,” states SUN Behavioral, “mentally checking boxes to those that apply to your loved one. Remember that question in the beginning: ‘Is it okay to ask someone if they’re suicidal?’ According to experts in the mental health field and with the National Suicide Hotline, that answer is ‘yes.’”
SUN Behavioral Houston makes it their mission to work alongside communities to address the otherwise unmet needs of those who suffer from mental illness and substance use disorders. As such, their services, facilities and community outreach are designed to offer compassionate, conscientious, and expert care to those suffering from such conditions.
As such, they encourage their community to read the full article (and pursue other resources) to learn more about suicide prevention so that they may be able to help a loved one in the future. Further information on this subject as well as the organization’s other services can also be found on their website.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
At SUN Behavioral Texas, we partner with hospitals, doctors, schools, and social service agencies to solve the unmet behavioral health needs in neighborhoods across the Lone Star State. We take providing mental health services to the next level.
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