"Evening at the boat pond, Central Park" Janine Rose
(Photo above by Andressa Voltolini on Unsplash)
A message came to me a while ago, from a woman asking me to post an article on suicide prevention. My first reaction was that a subject like this does not have a place on the website, but after some consideration, maybe it does - even needs to be - discussed. My mission statement in "about Hello-Janine" says that I care about things that really matter. In a time filled with victims of violence and substance abuse, it is an unfortunate truth that suicide holds a firm place in our society. It can happen as a result of depression or come from the depths of hidden, inexplicable despair where symptoms go unnoticed. So, even though it is a tragedy, there are organizations to help recognize some of the signs.
A bit about the author
Melissa Howard firmly believes that every suicide is preventable. After losing her younger brother to suicide, she felt compelled to create an organization called "StopSuicide". By providing helpful resources and articles on this website, she hopes to build a lifeline of information.
Total Emotional Wellness Tips to Help Prevent Suicidal Feelings, by Melissa Howard
For those who experience suicidal thoughts, the problem can be looked at as both an acute and a long-term issue. Acutely, the goal is to seek help. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline to talk to a skilled counselor any time of day, any day of the week. In the long term, those who are at risk of suicide must develop an overall emotional wellness plan to help battle what can be an omnipresent difficulty.
Why do people attempt suicide?
There is no one thing that leads people to attempt suicide. For some, it’s simply a cry for help. For others, the pain of a loss and depression can lead them to believe it is their only way out. Psychologists note that mental health or psychosis, impulsivity or a philosophical desire to die can also be determining factors.
What are some of the warning signs to look out for?
To be clear: there are no magic signs that will let you know that you or someone you love is at risk of suicide. There is also no guarantee that there will even be strong signs. But for many struggling with thoughts of suicide, there are warning signs that present themselves over the course of months, weeks, or days.
Emotionally, someone struggling may withdraw from friends, family, work, and other social situations. There can be major shifts in behavior. A loss of interest in things that once interested the person is another strong sign. Also look for an uptick in risky behavior, including but not limited to, increased drug and alcohol use.
How to Improve Overall Emotional Wellness
Combating suicidal thoughts is, for a large part, about improving overall mental well-being. Here are some ways you can get started:
● Start at home. You spend the majority of your time inside your home, so it stands to reason that the more stress filled and chaotic your home is, the more stressed-out and chaotic your life will feel. Getting organized, downsizing your unnecessary junk, and keeping your home clean on a daily basis is the number one way to achieve a healthy home environment. You should also have a designated space in your home for mindfulness and relaxation, possibly for meditation or yoga.
● Focus on the big three: sleep, diet, and exercise. If you are eating healthy, getting enough physical exercise, and getting good quality sleep, your chances of being mentally sound are greatly increased.
● Find meaningful social connections. An important key to overall mental health involves other people. Reach out to friends and family. Get more involved with a church or other social groups. Many who experience suicidal thoughts feel like others don’t care about their feelings and are burdened by them. This is not true. You must be able to form meaningful connections with the people you love.
● Find purpose (and it doesn’t have to be work). If you think that your job is the only place to find true meaning and purpose in life, you’re wrong. Therapists agree that picking up a hobby, throwing yourself into charity/community empowerment work, or getting involved with a club or team sport can boost emotional wellness.
Suicide is a poor solution—one that doesn’t actually solve anything. It creates pain in its wake, and it can be prevented with attention and focus on emotional health. You or your loved one can get through this.
Here are some helpful resources: