• Sandi Marshall

Lets talk about suicide

Would you know what to do if you thought someone was feeling suicidal? Not many of us would. Visyon was founded 24 years ago in response to a number of adolescent suicides in our hometown, and every day we work with young people who are feeling suicidal. 6,188 suicides were recorded in the UK in 2015. It is the single biggest killer of men under 45, and yet suicide is utterly preventable. It’s possible to save lives if only we all learn how we can reach out to each other.

So, what are the signs that someone’s feeling suicidal?

If someone says that they feel hopeless, or indicates that they feel worthless or a burden to others, they may be feeling suicidal. They may say something like, “I can’t carry on”, “there is nothing to live for anymore” or “people will be better off without me”. They may tell you that they’re struggling to cope, or that they feel trapped. You could get the feeling that they’re saying goodbye or they could be making arrangements for after they’re gone, such as giving their things away.

Danger signs could be dramatic changes in mood, loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed, agitation, or an increase in drug and alcohol use or risk-taking behaviour. They may behave aggressively or stop taking care of themselves. They could be tired, be having problems sleeping, or sleeping too much. They may withdraw from friends and family. If they have a previous history of suicide attempts, or suicide in the family, they are more at risk.

What to do if someone is feeling suicidal?

If you suspect someone may be feeling suicidal, you should take your suspicions seriously. Don’t ignore it. Ask them if you’re right to be worr