Feeling Suicidal? - how can you help and be helped?

Suicide Prevention - how to identify early warning signs among your loved ones?
Suicidal warning signs are often subtle, but it shouldn't be ignored.
Below are some warning signs to look out for:
👉They tend to avoid social situations more often and for no particular reason.
👉They become indifference about slipping performance at work or school.
👉A sudden / increase use of alcohol or drugs.
👉Giving up on personal hygiene and positive habits, like following a healthy diet and exercising.
👉Being more careless about taking regular medications properly and no longer keeping chronic health issues, like diabetes, under control.
👉Driving recklessly or engaging in riskier behaviors.
👉Talking about feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness.
👉Unusual purchases, such as buying supplies, objects or weapons, that wouldn't normally be needed but could be used for self-harm.
👉Drastic change in mood, becoming extremely happy or sad.
What you should do?
Having a conversation with someone you're worried about can be frightening and distressing. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be a doctor to check-in with someone you are worried about. If a person you know seems to be struggling, reaching out and connecting with them could save their life.
✅Ask the direct question - Are you having thoughts about suicide? Be prepared that the person may answer ‘yes’. Then listen with empathy and without judgement.
✅Keep asking open ended questions, encouraging the conversation. "How long have you been feeling this way? Have you felt this way before?"
✅Make sure the person knows you’re here for them. Use non-verbal cues like making eye contact, placing your hand on their hand, nodding while they are talking e.g.
✅Let the person know that lots of people think about suicide and that it’s OK to talk about those feelings. Assure them that they are not alone, lots of people feel like this, and thank them for telling you.
✅Try to offer hope and suggest that people can find ways to get through tough times, and you will be there to help them find a way to get through this.
✅Reassure them that you’re here to listen and support them and that you don’t need to rush off. Just let them take their time, there’s no rush - "I know talking about this can be difficult. I’m here to listen. You can tell me anything."
✅ Be prepared to listen, even if it’s hard to hear, even if it makes you upset.
✅ Find out if they’ve made a plan. This is important. People who have made a plan are at more risk. "Have you thought about how you would kill yourself? Have you thought about when you would kill yourself? Have you taken any steps to get the things you would need to carry out your plan?"
Looking after yourself
It can be emotionally draining to support someone struggling with suicidal thoughts, thus, always remember to take care of yourself, and check-in with yourself regularly. Seek professional help if you feel that things are getting out of hand. 
Identify yourself having those suicidal thoughts? 
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, talking about how you feel can be incredibly helpful. It's hard to get through anxiety and depression by yourself. Find the right person, find the words, and take action. The support of others can help you recover. 

Talking to the right person can help you:
To gain support and understanding.
To connect with others with similar experiences.
To help you figure out what to do about how you’re feeling.
To ease the burden of keeping it a secret.

Where to start?
💖At first you might share your thoughts with someone you trust and feel comfortable with – this could be someone in your family, a friend, a teacher, doctor or other health professional.

💖Try and think about it as just another conversation. Describe what happened, how you feel and the help you need. It's best to be direct so that they understand how you feel.

💖Be prepared for their reaction. Accept that people will react in different ways. People who learn that someone is suicidal can be quite shocked and emotional. Just keep talking, and together you can find a way through it. If people are not helpful in their reaction, this is a reflection on their lack of understanding.
💖While it's important to have support, do know that if you tell someone about your suicidal thoughts, you can't expect them to keep it a secret. They'll need to be able to help you stay safe and that usually means calling in extra help.
💖Lastly, be gentle with yourself and take it slowly.
You may choose to call SOS hotline at 1767 (Singapore) or chat with them online if you would prefer to stay anonymous.  
Remember, you are not alone in this, tough times don't last, tough people do. 
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U Got to Love Yourself

10 Sep 2021

Reference: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/worried-about-someone-suicidal/suicidal-signs-to-look-for-in-someone
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