In recent events in the media, the passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and the new season of 13 Reasons Why, suicide should be an important discussion for everyone. The Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, ultimately brings to the foreground a harsh subject for many people, adults and teenagers alike, that needs to be addressed in society. While the show has some inaccuracies, there are lessons that can be taken from this series. Not everyone is entirely open about what they are going through; they can be silent about their personal life, especially teens towards their parents. Therefore making it important to ask others how they are feeling or “what is going” if they seem to be acting out of character. Parents should be open with their children about life changing events; it should be an age appropriate conversation. It is okay for a friend to ask a loved one when warning signs arise. For those that are thinking about attempting suicide, it is not always the case that they want to be gone, rather it is their way of making the pain they feel disappear or not having the correct coping skills for depression, anxiety or stress set in place to help them through difficult times. Helping someone that is at risk or thinking about suicide create coping skills is beneficial to their mental health.
A simple discussion about a person’s thoughts and feelings could be lifesaving. Although the thought might cross one’s mind that talking about suicide with someone who may be at risk could lead the person to actually follow through; this is definitely not the case. Openly talking about suicide can create a safe space for those that are dealing with difficult situations, it can be a healthy outlet. It is better to be straightforward and ask questions about a person’s mental well-being that might be at risk of suicide.
Many people may hide their depression and thoughts of suicide, but it is important to recognize the warning signs of those who may be thinking suicide is the only way out. Some warning signs for those thinking about suicide are:
Talking about suicide, dying, or self-harm
Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
Seeking out pills, weapons or other lethal objects
If you or a loved one needs immediate help please contact the nearest crisis center or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.