World Suicide Prevention Day: signs that someone isn't coping

According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 – 29 year olds.
According to the World Health Organisation, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 – 29 year olds.
Image: Martin Novak/123RF

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day that’s set aside to spread the message that suicide can be prevented. a

In a world riddled with mental health issues and high volumes of suicide and suicide attempts, a day observed to spread the message that help is available is important.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that every year close on 800 000 people take their own lives. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), 60% of the people who commit suicide are depressed.

In 2016, it was reported that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.

A look at these alarming statistics is enough reason for us to not only commemorate World Suicide Day but to highlight the signs of suicide and where one can get help.


Five Signs that someone is suicidal:

Since depression is a risk factor for suicide, signs that someone is suicidal are often symptoms of depression.

  • Excessive sadness or moodiness: Being sad for a long period of time and mood swings can be symptoms of depression which is a major risk factor for suicide.
  • Recent trauma or life crisis: A suicide attempt might be triggered by a major life crisis like the death of a loved one, losing a job and financial problems.
  • Social isolation: Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends and social activities are a possible symptom of depression. This includes losing interest in activities one used to enjoy.
  • Talking about suicide: People contemplating suicide often talk about dying, harming themselves or speak as if they’re bidding you farewell.
  • Risky behaviour: People who are depressed and suicidal often turn to risky behaviours as an escape from what they’re going through. This includes drinking and driving and taking drugs.

Where to get help:

Suicide can be prevented, if you or a loved one is in need of an intervention, turn to these sites for help.

X