Suicide is an important public health problem, but one that is often neglected, surrounded by stigmas, myths and taboos. Each case of suicide is a tragedy that seriously affects not only individuals, but also families and communities. It is in your hands to avoid it!
Every year, more than 700,000 people take their own lives after numerous suicide attempts , which corresponds to one death every 40 seconds. And with the advent of COVID-19, more individuals are experiencing loss, suffering, and stress.
At TuSaludIntima we join the call of the Pan American Health Organization , which invites all of us to focus on suicide prevention, raising the voice about the importance of creating social ties, promoting awareness and offering hope. Reaching out to our loved ones for mental health and wellness could save our lives.
And every day the matter is more serious. The third regional report on suicide mortality, published in March 2021, indicated that this problem continues to be a public health priority in the Americas.
5 key facts about suicide!
- In the Americas, an average of 81,746 deaths by suicide were reported per year between 2010 and 2014, with the suicide rate in North America and the non-Hispanic Caribbean being higher than the regional rate.
- Around 79% of suicides in the Region occur in men.
- The suicide rate among men is more than three times higher than that of women.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 20 and 24 in the Americas. People between the ages of 45 and 59 have the highest suicide rate in the Region, followed by those aged 70 and over.
- Suffocation, firearms, drug and alcohol intoxication, and poisoning with pesticides and chemicals are the four most widely used methods of suicide, accounting for 91% of all suicides in the Region.
Protective factors: prevention can save lives
Suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based, and often low-cost interventions . The World Health Organization recommends addressing the complexity of suicidal behavior starting with identifying risk and protective factors.
Although the relationship between suicide and mental disorders is well established, many suicides can also occur impulsively at times of crisis, such as financial loss.
Addressing risks to reduce the means of suicide and enhancing protective factors to foster resilience can effectively reduce suicide rates.
What can we do to prevent suicides?
The theme of the celebration of World Suicide Prevention Day 2021-2023 is "Creating hope through action" so today we come to highlight some of the actions that we must carry out together in this suicide prevention campaign:
Coping strategies : recognizing the situation is the first step. Suicide prevention begins by addressing the lack of awareness about suicide as a major public health problem from home and normalizing in our environment that it is necessary to seek professional help.
Solid personal relationships: leaning on the people around us and on whom we trust can be the fundamental basis for asking for help and moving forward. Maintaining healthy close relationships can act as a protector. A person's close circle can be very influential and can be a significant source of social, emotional, and financial support that buffers external stressors. Relationships are especially protective for teenagers and older people. This support factor has also been seen to decrease the risk of suicide associated with childhood trauma.
Religious or spiritual beliefs: Many people cling to their religion to get through difficult times. Supporting us in a difficult moment can be good for not making hasty decisions and gaining extra time to catch your breath and seek professional help. But it's key to understand that while it provides a structured belief system, it should not be substituted for professional help.
- Positive Wellness Practices : Wellness is partly related to personality traits that determine vulnerability and resilience to stress and trauma. Emotional stability, optimism and a developed personal identity help to cope with life's difficulties. Good self-esteem, personal competence, and problem-solving skills (including the ability to ask for help) mitigate the impact of adversity.
let's demystify suicide
Tell your friends! According to the WHO, there are many misconceptions and prejudices regarding suicidal behavior, which are contradicted by scientific evidence. Here are some of the most common:
Those who talk about suicide do not intend to commit it
Those who talk about suicide may thus be asking for help or support. A significant number of people contemplating suicide experience anxiety, depression and hopelessness and may feel they have no other option.
Most suicides happen suddenly without warning.
Most suicides have been preceded by verbal or behavioral warning signs.
Some suicides are committed without warning, but it is important to know the warning signs and be aware of them.
The suicidal person is determined to die
By contrast, the suicidal person is often ambivalent about life or death.
Access to emotional support at the right time can prevent suicide.
Anyone who has ever been suicidal will never stop being so.
The greatest risk of suicide is usually short-term and situation-specific.
Although suicidal thoughts may return, they are not permanent, and someone who has had suicidal thoughts and attempts can lead a long life afterward.
Only people with mental disorders are suicidal
Suicidal behavior indicates deep unhappiness, but not necessarily a mental disorder.
Many people living with mental disorders are not affected by suicidal behavior and not everyone who takes their own life has a mental disorder.
Talking about suicide is a bad idea and can be interpreted as encouragement
Given the widespread stigma around suicide, most people contemplating suicide don't know who to talk to.
Rather than encourage suicidal behavior, speaking openly can give a person other options or time to reflect on their decision, thus preventing suicide.
If you feel overwhelmed, depressed or simply with a sadness that does not go away, seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist who are trained to help you address the situation in a timely manner.
If you have problems with your partner or need advice on that aspect of your life, at TuSaludIntima we offer Coaching services where you can receive support and a guide to talk and see the way out.
Stay connected with us through our social networks @TuSaludIntima, @DoctoraKlaraSenior and @Tu_Ginecologa, where we always publish promotions and informative tips for your feminine health and your sexuality.
And for more information on the global suicide prevention campaign, read the detail at the Pan American Health Organization .