The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
My name is Helen O’Keeffe, Marketing Manager with HomeCare Plus. Depression and suicide in the elderly and infirm is often overlooked and I think depression is a subject we need to continually address for all age groups and people with and without mental illness. As a result, I have created an infographic entitled ‘Suicide Prevention – Be Aware & Care’.
Did you know that every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide? That equals 1 million lives lost every year! Our infographic highlights some of the shocking statistics surrounding suicide, but most importantly shows people how to spot the warning signs and help save a life, while also explaining to those suffering from suicidal thoughts how to cope and survive.
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For more in-depth information about suicide statistics and issues, take a look at our infographic below.
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Be Aware & Care
Every year almost one million people die from suicide worldwide. Explore the facts and figures surrounding suicide and learn how you can help someone in need, help yourself, and cope if you have been affected by suicide.
SUICIDE: THE FACTS
Every year almost 1 million people die from suicide
- That’s one death every 40 seconds
- The second leading cause of death for those aged 10-24
- The third leading cause of death for those aged 15-44
Suicide attempts are 10-20 times more frequent than deaths by suicide
Suicide rates have increased by 60% over the last 50 years
Map of suicide rates *
The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population
1.8% of worldwide deaths are suicide
WHO IS AT RISK
**Over 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder**
Other risk factors for suicide include:
- One or more prior suicide attempts
- Family violence
- Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
- Family history of mental issues or substance abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Family history of suicide
- Keeping firearms in the home
- Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
Fact: Between 20% and 50% of people who die by suicide have had a previous attempt
Own Your Copy Today!
LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS
- Always talking or thinking about death
- Clinical depression – deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating
- Having a ‘death wish’ i.e. tempting fate by taking risks
- Losing interest in things they used to care about
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here”
- Sudden, unexpected switch from very sad to being very calm
- Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
SAVE A LIFE | HOW TO TAKE ACTION AND HELP SOMEONE
- Tell them that there are other options to suicide
- Don’t agree to keep their suicidal thoughts or plans a secret
- Don’t assume they will get better without help or that they will seek help on their own.
IF THE PERSON IS THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE, ENCOURAGE THEM TO
- Make an appointment with a GP – offer to go along with them
- Contact a counselor, mind coach, family member, or friend
- Contact a specialist Helpline for information and advice
IF THEY HAVE MADE A PLAN TO END THEIR LIFE
- Check if they are able to carry out this plan. Do they have a time, place, or method?
- Do what you can to keep them safe by removing access to dangerous items
- Contact the local hospital to assist you
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO
- Look after yourself – it is emotionally demanding to support someone who is suicidal
- Find someone to talk things over with be it family, friends, a counsellor or mind coach or even a Helpline.
DEALING WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS?
TIPS ON HOW TO COPE
Give Yourself Time
Make a promise to yourself that you will wait for 24 hours before doing anything drastic.
**Don’t take a permanent solution to a temporary problem**
Talk to Someone You Trust
Your next step is to seek support, love, and understanding from the people you trust.
**You may feel alone, but look around you and you’ll find there are many people there to help***
Find a Professional
If you feel your loved ones may not be able to help, then seek professional help.
**Successfully dealing with suicidal thoughts takes the courage to open up and share feelings**
Make Your Environment Safe
Take responsibility to make your own environment safe:
- Remove all drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous substances from your home
- Clear your home of things like sleeping pills, household cleaners, and other poisons
- Remove all things that you can use to hurt yourself
Make Yourself Happy
Take the time to deal with your mental health, seek professional help, and make time in your day to be happy.
**Try to stick to a healthy diet, exercise, and get into a routine that makes you feel like you again**
HEALING AND GRIEVING AFTER A SUICIDE
A loved one’s suicide can tirgger intense emotions including:
- Shock: Disbelief and emotional numbness may set in
- Guilt: You may begin blaming yourself for your loved one’s death
- Anger: You might be angry with your loved one or with yourself for missing clues about suicidal intentions
- Despair: You might be gripped by sadness, loneliness, or helplessness
DEVELOP COPING STRATEGIES
- Reach out to loved ones
- Grieve in your own way
- Be prepared for painful reminders
- Don’t rush yourself
- Expect setbacks
- Consider a support group for others affected by suicide
HOME CARE PLUS
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