World Suicide Prevention Day is on Sunday 10 September. According to Sandy Lewis, clinical social worker and Netcare Compassion Coach, suicide is the final symptom of a brain that is no longer able to cope, just like any other type of organ failure, it is the result of an illness that has become terminal.
“Some people die by suicide without necessarily showing their intentions. If you have an uneasy feeling that someone may be thinking about suicide, it is very likely that by this time, the person is already well advanced with their plans to die,” said Lewis.
Ahead of Suicide Awareness Day, Netcare Akeso provides seven potential warning signs that a person could be suicidal.
- Long lasting feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Extreme mood swings
- Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
- Risky and self-harming behaviours, such as driving under the influence
- Making preparations to die, such as getting personal affairs in order and giving away possessions
- Talking about dying as bringing relief to self and others
- Arranging to have lethal means available like a gun, pills, razor blades, or rope
If you are feeling suicidal or having thoughts of harming yourself or need advice for assisting a loved one, Netcare Akeso offers a 24-hour crisis line on 0861-435-787. Trained counsellors are available to talk to you without judgement and can guide you on the various options for assistance.
The South African Anxiety and Depression Group also provides a 24-hour suicide crisis helpline on 0800-567-567.
Compiled by Justine Fortuin