Suicide is an issue that many people, with or without mental health conditions, may struggle with at some point in their lives, but one that is often left unspoken. One of the biggest consequences of silence is that people who need help may end up not getting it.
According to the World Health Organisation approximately 800,000 lives are lost to suicide each year. While mental health conditions, especially mood disorders, may make one more vulnerable to suicidal behaviours, factors such as acute emotional distress, relationship difficulties and isolation, sudden life changes and chronic illness can also play a part.
People who show suicidal behaviour (thinking of ending one’s life, planning a suicide, making an attempt, acting upon plans) tend to suffer in silence due to fear of stigmatisation, judgment, and a lack of understanding from their loved ones and people around them. This may, in turn, reinforce a sense of hopelessness and helplessness about their situation and emotional state.
Talking to someone about their suicidal behaviours may be difficult, but it is an important first step in helping them. It gives the person the opportunity to share his or her feelings and thoughts, provides emotional relief, and alleviates isolation and hopelessness. Talking about it openly also allows you to better understand the person’s situation and helps you feel more equipped to provide help.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when initiating this conversation if you think someone might have suicidal behaviours. There are no fixed questions or responses, but your attitude and stance are important.
For assistance, call these 24-hour helplines – Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221 4444, Mental Health Helpline: 63892222
10 Buangkok ViewSingapore 539747