How Do We Prevent Suicide?

How do we prevent suicide?  One thing we need is better treatment options for mental illnss

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  It’s great to raise awareness, but the problem is, people are still dying.  We can talk until we’re blue in the face about why and how people should reach out, and there are lots of great crisis lines out there doing excellent work, but why is there still a gap between that talk and the actual statistics?

Reaching those suffering in silence

The way I see it, there are two broad groups of people that it’s important to connect with when we consider suicide risk.  One is the people who are suffering in silence, and not reaching out for help because of stigma, fear, or whatever the reason may be.  

I think initiatives such as World Suicide Prevention Day can potentially do a lot of good in reaching this segment of the population and encouraging them to access support.

Better treatment for chronic mental illness

Then there are those of us who are living with a mental illness diagnosis and doing our best to access the services that are available to us, but w’re still suffering.  If you’re like me, maybe the talk about suicide prevention further reminds you of the role that suicidal thinking has played and will continue to play in your life.  It’s important that we talk about it and get it out in the open, but talking isn’t enough.

To truly prevent suicide, we need better treatment for mental illness, and faster access to existing treatment.  The current treatments we have available for mood disorders are okay, but a lot of us are still experiencing symptoms, and that shouldn’t be the only outcome possible.  It can be very hard to maintain hope when the best available treatment doesn’t take the suicidal thoughts away.  Me calling a crisis line changes nothing about my depression, so why would I even consider it?  My doctor is happy to see me more frequently when the suicidal thoughts come up, and I appreciate that, but there’s not all that much we can really do about them other than me riding them out.  Sadly, I’ve come to accept that this is part of my reality.

A multi-pronged approach

So if we are truly going to prevent suicide, we need a multi-pronged approach.  Yes, we need to get people talking and break down stigma.  Yes, we need to make people aware of existing crisis resources.  But we also need better treatment for mental illness, and that means more research dollars.  Because talk doesn’t do much for the many people in the same boat as I am and many of us in the mentally healthy blogging community are.

Straight talk on suicide: Reach out - graphic of a flaming phoenix

The straight talk on suicide page has info on suicidal thinking, crisis lines and safety planning, along with straight talk about suicide.

14 thoughts on “How Do We Prevent Suicide?”

  1. The more of us who reach out and share our stories, the less stigma has a hold on us. And yes, we need better treatment and access to care. This is a multi-faceted problem that needs more than our voices- we need leaders who will advocate for us and lead an initiative to provide mental health care for all.

  2. I wish you never felt that way! 🙁 You can always contact me! 🙂

    I’m not sure what the solution is, either, but I love the idea of Internet-based hotlines. Back in the day, you could only access them by phone. All I remember is getting into an argument with a hotline worker once. She was like, “You have a bad attitude.” And I was all like, “I’m freakin’ suicidal! What’s your excuse?” That seems funny to me today.

      1. Yeah, I don’t even know what that was about. She was trying to get me to do a guided visualization, but my thinking was all messed up, and I couldn’t focus on the imagery.

  3. I agree with you too. Talking and spreading awareness is so important but also more research is important and bette treatment. In my last blog post I also wrote about that we have to make treatment available for people who don’t have much money. There needs to be better treatment available for everyone who needs it. Great post ❤️

  4. Well, a burning topic to put the comment on.
    Helping someone from committing suicide is important but more is to help that person to stop thinking from doing so. We can help people by spreading awareness and this should be done to a large extent. There are various therapies available that can help too. Like hypnotherapy. Just a thought came while reading the article on hypnosis training academy:

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