Suicide / Threatened Suicide

suicideSome Facts Regarding Suicide

Suicide is not a topic people readily talk about but increasing awareness throughout our communities is making it easier.  Canada has a higher rate of suicide than the United States. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in our Canadian youth, 14-19 and leading cause for those 25-34 years of age.  The Canadian Mental Health Association states that because of the stigma surrounding suicide, as many as 30% of suicides are not reported.  For every completed suicide, there are averages of 8-100 attempts depending on age, sex, data sources, etc.  One in seven Canadians has seriously considered suicide.  Many productive years of life are lost in our communities each year because of suicide.  Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that 8% of our Canadian population is affected by completed suicides and suicide attempts. Suicidal thoughts, behaviours and attempts are usually “cries for help”.  Anyone can become depressed but because of the stigma attached to mental health issues, people do not seek help soon enough.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the above, and you would like some more information on the topic we have resources we can share with you.

For example, we have:

  • Beyond Surviving
  • Helping A Survivor of Suicide
  • Helping Youth At Risk of Suicide
  • Hope and Healing after Suicide
  • Understanding Suicide: Common Elements
  • When a Parent Dies by Suicide….what kids want to know

These are just a few examples of the resources we have at our offices.  If you are looking for more resources or referrals in your local area give us a call at 1-866-376-9852 24-hour contact line.

Some Facts Regarding Threatened Suicide

Although individual motives for suicide vary, there are some common warning signs.  These signs may indicate that someone is at risk or is having personal, family or school problems.

Suicide seldom occur without warning.  If you are aware of common signs and of changes in behavior, you can recognize and better help a person in crisis.  These signs represent behaviors that can serve as a warning sign.  The warning signs are usually physical, emotional and behavioral in nature:

Physical Signs

  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Sudden changes in the manner of dress, especially when the new style is completely out of character.
  • Chronic or unexplained illness, aches, and pains.
  • Sudden weight gain or loss.
  • A sudden change in appetite.

Emotional Clues

  • A sense of hopelessness, helplessness or futility.
  • Inability to enjoy or appreciate friendships.
  • Wide mood changes and sudden outbursts.
  • Anxiousness, extreme tension and agitation.
  • Lethargy or tiredness.
  • Changes in personality: from outgoing to withdrawn, from polite to rude, from compliant to rebellious, from well-behaved to “acting out”.
  • Loss of the ability to concentrate; daydreaming.
  • Depression, sadness
  • Loss of rational thought.
  • Feelings of guilt and failure.
  • Self-destructive thoughts.
  • Exaggerated fears of cancer, AIDS or physical impairment.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or of being a burden.
  • Loss of enjoyment from activities formerly enjoyed

Behavioral Signs

  • Decreased school activity; isolation. A sudden drop in achievement and interest in school subjects.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, sports, work etc.
  • Unexplained use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Withdrawal from family and former friends, sometimes acting in a manner which forces others away.
  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping habits.
  • Changes in friendship.
  • Running away from home; “skipping school”.
  • Accident proneness and increase in risk-taking behavior such as careless driving, bike accidents, dangerous use of firearms.
  • Sexual promiscuity.
  • Giving away prized possessions (e.g. I-Pod).
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death.
  • Sudden changes in personality.
  • Making a will; writing poetry or stories about suicide or death.
  • Quietly putting affairs in order, “taking care of business.”
  • Threatening suicide.
  • Hoarding pills, hiding weapons, describing methods for committing suicide.
  • Previous suicide attempts.

While all of these signs may indicate that a person is experiencing problems, the last five behavioral signs are especially significant. (These signs indicate that a decision to complete suicide may have been made.) A previous attempt is a particularly important sign.  Such an attempt increases the risk of future ones.  In any of the signs, the key word is CHANGE.

The symptoms of depression, including the list of “acting out” behaviors and the common warning signs for suicide, are very similar.  Together, they provide ways to recognize a person at risk.

If you or someone you know have been experiencing any of the above, or you would like more information on threatened suicide.  We have resources that we can share with you.

For example, we have:

  • A Suicide Attempt is Meaningful & Significant
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Suicidal Behaviour
  • Understanding Depression and Suicide
  • Warning Signs of Suicidal Behaviour

These are just a few examples of the resources we have at our offices.  If you are looking for more resources or referrals in your local area give us a call at 1-866-376-985224-hour contact line.