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  • Myka Dixon

Be the Friend That Cares

September is Suicide Prevention month. It is important that we all check in with our loved ones and make sure everyone is in a good mental state.


48,000: DEAD


10.7 MILLION: THOUGHT ABOUT IT


3.3 MILLION: MADE A PLAN


1.4 MILLION: ATTEMPTED

In 2018 according to the CDC

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and approximately 123 Americans die by suicide DAILY. Suicide is a huge problem and people need to more aware of what the consequences of not being there for their friends, family, and peers are. We are living in strange times, with Covid-19 spreading uncontrollably, the need for isolation from other people is needed to promote health. Isolation is one of the main triggers for people who suffer from depression and anxiety, and those who have trouble with feelings of loneliness. So, with everything going on, It is crucial that we all are caring for each other.


These people who have died from suicide are real people, they were someone's friend, sister, brother, child, significant other, co-worker. Unless you check in with those you care for, there is no way to know if these thoughts have ran through their mind. Realize that just because you're not experiencing it doesn't mean it is not real. Many people experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. So, this could easily happen to you or someone you know.


Imagine feeling like no one knows how unhappy you are, and not a person in this world cares about you. Some people feel this way, and it could be someone you know.


People who have experienced violence, abuse, sexual assault, bullying, and other types of violence are at a higher risk for suicide. The worst part about this is that these are people who are ruining the lives of individuals with a bright future. If you have done or have seen this type of abuse being done to another person, stop doing it or offer them the help they need after experiencing these tragic events. We need to try put our best steps forward in creating a world where people can see a future for themselves, that doesn't involve suicide or suicidal thoughts.


Warning Signs of Suicide You SHOULD NOT IGNORE:


Appetite Changes

Talking About Death

Anxiety Increased Agitation

Mood Swings

Feeling Empty, Sad, Angry

Self Harm Behavior Sleeping Less/More

Isolation

Eating Less/More

Lack of Interest

Heavy Use of Drugs & Alcohol


How To Support Friends Who Are Suicidal


Listen with compassion & no judgement.

Regularly check in on them.

Tell them that this pain is temporary.

Let them know it's okay to ask for help. Remind them that you're there for them.

Thank them for being a freind.

Give them the resources they need. Acknowledge that their feelings are valid.

Keep them busy.

Remind them that they are loved & not alone.

Ask them how you can help. Express your appreciation for their friendship.

Everyone goes through hard times, it's not rare to experience this when living in the world we live in. It's okay to not feel okay. Be the friend who cares, and make sure you check in on your peers and your loved ones, even if they seem okay. Some people repress their emotions because they think no one cares, that their not loved, and having these emotions is a sign of weakness. A simple text, phone call, or helping hand goes a long way. Don't be the friend who "didn't know this was happening," be the one who took action.


Most importantly, be kind. Even to those you don't know, because you never know what another person is going through. The things you say and do can affect someone more than you think it will. If there is one thing that we can control, it is the way we treat others.


Know that support from a friend cannot replace expert help from a healthcare professional. Please refer your friends or peers to a doctor, counselor, or psychologist if they are experiencing severe emotional distress. It is still important that we care and show support for each other during a time where resources like these can be limited.


If you are in need of help or are in a suicidal state please call this hotline for more help.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

I want you all to know that if you ever need someone to talk to, I am here for you. I know that I can't help everyone, but I will try my best to help those who need me to.

Myka


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