Recognise Suicide Risk and Optimise Prevention Worldwide

Despite just how preventable the act of suicide and its causes are, it remains a global issue.

In fact, suicide is such a big problem that an estimated 800,000 people die from it yearly.

Does this not sound very much like a big number to you? Well, how about we break it down? Somewhere in the world, a person commits suicide every 40 seconds.

And, for every person that commits suicide every 40 seconds that pass, 20 people have committed attempted suicide but failed.

Suicide risk awareness is crucial, and that’s what we’ll talk about today.

What is Suicide?

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Suicide is a word that may act as a noun, adjective, or verb. That is according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

It simply means performing actions that will lead to the end of one’s life.

This may be through overdose, self-hanging, cutting, or stabbing oneself to bleed excessively. A person could do so in many other ways.

What are the Risk Factors for Suicide?

There are millions of risk factors for suicide, but they may be grouped into four categories. These are the Individual, Relationship, Community, and Societal risk factors.

Individual risk factors range from mental illnesses, problems, and substance use to adverse traumas, experiences, and previous suicide attempts. For example, an individual might think, I wanted to commit suicide because, for a long time, I couldn’t win the lottery or casino. Such a personal experience can lead to frustration, to the point that a person might commit suicide.

Relationship risk factors are usually bullying, losing a loved one, and violent relationships.

Community risk factors may be from the lack of healthcare, the stress of acculturation, or community violence and discrimination.

And lastly, societal risk factors commonly come from unguided media portrayals of suicide, easy access to lethal suicide means, and societal stigma regarding mental illnesses.

Years and even centuries back, suicide used to be illegal in most parts of the world. But through time, most countries have legalized it. Nonetheless, some still remain to consider it a crime.

Why have they legalized it?

Well, let’s talk about the penalty for suicide first.

You may be wondering how could the government punish a dead person for an illegal act. It’s not really like that. Rather, it’s more about receiving a penalty for a failed suicide attempt. Most countries consider it murder.

There are also penalties for those who assist suicide attempts. This is regardless of whether the action was successful or not. The verdict is also murder.

Now, this does not prevent suicidal people from ending their lives. Although the penalty does scare them, it’s not in the way the government intends to.

Individuals fear the penalty so much that they go to lengths to ensure their suicide will be successful.

What is the Impact of Suicide?

Individuals who commit suicide do it for their problems and difficulties to end. However, it does not end them but passes them on to their loved ones instead.

When a person commits suicide, severe emotional, physical, and economic impacts transfer to their loved ones, mainly the family members.

On the other hand, people who have unsuccessful suicide attempts experience serious injuries, poorer mental health, and long-term health risks.

How to Help in Suicide Prevention?

Not everyone is an expert in situations like these. We aren’t always negotiators or therapists.

One of the things you can do to help someone out of a suicide plan is to listen to them. Doing so will make them feel that they are not alone and someone is willing to walk them through life.

You may also connect them with professional support. This doesn’t always have to be a family member or a doctor. You can refer them to suicide hotlines for privacy.