World Suicide Prevention Day

As we mark this WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS DAY we`d like to share knowledge and shed more light on suicide, trigger factors, warning signs to seeking professional help early enough and or when the centre can’t hold. By doing this we recognize anyone contemplating suicide and or anyone else that might be in that same situation or has a loved one in that situation.

WHAT IS SUICIDE?

Everyone has their own definition and understanding of what suicide is. Some definitions go beyond the standard answer of it being the act of killing one self.

Some define it as the answer

Some define it as an escape

Some define it as a tragedy

WHY THE HIGH SUICIDE RATES IN OUR GENERATION?

  1. We don’t prioritize our mental health and don’t strive to have self-awareness
  2. We want our lives to go according to plan
  3. We set high expectations on our lives and the people round us
  4. We don’t have the emotional intelligence and maturity to overcome personal struggles
  5. We’ve created a hostile environment where one fears seeking help

WHO IS AT RISK?

While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.

 RISK FACTORS

  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Knowing someone who died by suicide
  • Access to lethal means
  • Prior suicide attempt
  • Discrimination
  • Pre existing mental illness
  • Financial stress/ unemployment
  • Devastating loss of a loved one

WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU THEY ARE HAVING SUICIDAL IDEATIONS

  •  TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY. Don’t assume it’s a joke.
  • Ask questions – certain questions such as:

have you thought about how or when you’ll do it

are there other options you could consider other than suicide (have them name them)

Have you attempted or thought about suicide before?

  • Encourage them to seek professional help   
  • Look for warning signs – if they start to withdraw from society, increase their drug or alcohol intake, start exhibiting extreme mood swings, feelings of being trapped or helpless about their life, personality changes.
  • Don’t leave them alone
  • Encourage them to communicate with you
  • Offer reassurance that things will get better
  • Encourage the individual to seek professional help

PREVENTION AND CONTROL

Some measures that could be taken at individual, community and global level include:

  • Limit access to means of suicide
  • Better reporting and educating of suicide from media
  • Foster social- emotional skills in communities
  • Early identity, access and management and follow up anyone who might be at risk

WHY MOST PEOPLE FEAR OPENING UP?

Stigma, particularly surrounding mental disorders and suicide. This means many people thinking of taking their own life or who have attempted suicide are not seeking help and are therefore not getting the help they need. The prevention of suicide has not been adequately addressed due to a lack of awareness of suicide as a major public health problem and the taboo in many societies to openly discuss it. To date, only a few countries have included suicide prevention among their health priorities and only 38 countries report having a national suicide prevention strategy.

Raising community awareness and breaking down the taboo is important for countries to make progress in preventing suicide.

KEY FACTS

  • Almost 500 people are reported to have killed themselves in the three months to June this year, more than the whole of 2020, according to the Kenyan police.
  • The youngest person to take their life was nine years old; the oldest 76. The 483 deaths recorded during the period were a marked increase on the annual average of about 320 cases, the ministry of health reported.
  • Data from the world bank puts suicide mortality rates in Kenya at 6.1 people in every 100,000, with men being in the highest risk category, with 9.1 men in every 100,000 affected.
  • “Men are generally taking their lives in Kenya because of the warped understanding of what it is to be a man. An African man guards up his feelings because he fears the repercussions in a society that has taught men that they do not cry, that they are not supposed to show their emotions or be vulnerable”

Make a personal decision, today, to break the cycle. The cycle of viewing therapy as a taboo, the cycle of associating tears with weakness, the cycle of fear towards vulnerability and be more open towards asking and accepting help. Be your brother`s and Sister`s keeper!