This year, November 19 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. This day is set aside to remember those lost to suicide and support those struggling with mental health or addiction. Suicide is a global problem that touches everyone in one way or another.
In 2020, there were 1.2 million suicide attempts in the United States. Suicide does not discriminate; it affects people of all ages, genders, races, and religions.
However, some things can help prevent suicide. One of the most important things anyone can do is to educate themselves about the signs of self-harm and suicide. By recognizing the warning signs, you can intervene and get someone depression treatment or other help they need before it’s too late.
When Did International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Begin?
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day started in 1999 to remember those lost to suicide and support those who are struggling. The day is always held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in the United States.
This day is important because it helps to break the stigma around suicide. It also provides an opportunity for those affected by suicide to connect with others who understand what they are going through.
What Are the Warning Signs of Suicide?
There are many warning signs of suicide. Some warning signs are more obvious than others. Warning signs that someone may be considering suicide include:
- Talking about wanting to die or hurt themselves
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Giving away prized possessions
- Sayings like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.”
If you see any warning signs in yourself or someone you know, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to help people who are struggling with mental health or addiction. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a 24/7 hotline that provides free and confidential support for people in distress; you can dial “988” to find help. You can also text “TALK” to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7. These resources can provide support and direction for you or someone you know who may be struggling.
Getting Involved on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a day for everyone who has been affected by suicide. There are many ways to get involved. Here are some ideas:
- Share your story – Sometimes, the most powerful thing you can do is share your story with others. This can help break the stigma around mental health and suicide and help others who are struggling to feel less alone. You can share your story on social media or write a blog post or article about your experience.
- Educate yourself and others – Take some time to learn more about suicide and mental health. This can help you be better prepared to support someone who is struggling. You can also use this knowledge to help educate others about the signs of suicide and how to get help.
- Support a friend or loved one – If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them and offer your support. Sometimes just knowing that someone cares can make all the difference. You can also encourage them to seek professional help if they struggle with mental health or addiction.
- Donate to a suicide prevention charity – Many organizations are working to prevent suicide. You can donate to one of these organizations to help support their work.
- Volunteer your time – If you have the time, you can volunteer with a local organization that works to prevent suicide. This can be a great way to help others while also getting support and understanding from those who have been affected by suicide.
Reach out if You Need Help
If you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, reach out for help by calling 988 or texting TALK to 741741 now. If you are struggling with your mental health or addiction, there are many resources available to help you get the treatment and support you need in your pursuit of a happier future.