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what you need to know and do

Each case of suicide is a tragedy that seriously affects not only individuals, but also families and communities, but it is often a neglected problem, surrounded by stigmas, myths and taboos, which also does not make the path easier for those who have suicidal thoughts , and that they must know that they are not alone and there is a way out.

In the World Suicide Prevention DaySeptember 10, experts, contrary to popular belief, encourage talking about this problem as one of the most important ways to prevent it.

In addition, and in accordance with the WHOfocusing on suicide prevention is especially important to create social bonds, promote awareness and offer hope.

Fortunately, the problem is starting to be considered more openly and there are numerous help and prevention guides published in recent years by organizations, professionals and associations.

Among them stands out a self-help guide for those who have suicidal thoughts from the Association for Research, Prevention and Intervention of Suicide (AIPIS)the main points of which we collect.

Suicidal thoughts: things you need to know

What to do if you have suicidal thoughts:

If you feel that life is not worth living, that no one can help you, that nothing will change and that the only way to end suffering and problems is to stop living…

If you feel down, without strength, with sudden mood swings, lack of interest in life, sleep disorders and have wishes to die…

If you are turning to drugs or drink.

If you are making a plan of where, when and how to kill yourself and can’t get the idea out of your mind.

It is important that:

1.- Draw up your Security Plan (we explain how to do it below)

2.- Ask a professional for help. You need to put yourself in the hands of professionals.

3.- Go to someone you trust, don’t be shy, and tell them what’s happening to you.

4.- Let yourself be helped.

You should know that:

You are not alone: ​​find a friend, family member, doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, nurse, social worker or other professional you trust and share your concerns with them.

Don’t keep your suicidal thoughts a secret – seek out the company of someone who appreciates you and feels comfortable with you.

Suicidal thoughts are usually associated with problems that can be solved.

Suicide can be presented as a permanent solution to intense pain.

But even if it doesn’t seem like it, hopelessness, pain and emptiness are temporary states, not permanent.

Just because you can’t think of any solutions doesn’t mean there aren’t any, just that you’re not able to see them right now.

Psychotherapeutic and medical treatments will help you find and evaluate the right options.

It’s normal to feel ambivalent. Most people who think about suicide do not really want to die, but to free themselves from the intolerable circumstances of life. Let yourself be helped and seek support.

Suicidal thoughts are usually fleeting. Even if you now feel that your depression will not end, it is important to remember that crises are not permanent.

Remember that it is not good to act impulsively. You can delay any decision about suicide.

Over time, suicidal thoughts will disappear and you will feel better able to face problems.

Even if the problem you have now can be very serious, with time and the help of professionals, family and friends, you will be able to see them in a different way, without so much intensity and in a more controlled way.

Reasons to live help to overcome difficult times. remember them

Think about the things that have sustained you through difficult times: family, friends, hobbies, pets, or future projects.

Consider the times you managed to get out of other problems, if other times you succeeded, this time: why can’t you?

Suicide attempt: to be done later

You need to know that it is possible to recover, overcome these feelings, and have a fulfilling life without suicidal thoughts or learn to live with them by staying safe.

Steps to follow:
Once you have been medically discharged, you should:

1.- Arrange a follow-up appointment with a mental health professional as soon as possible (psychologist and psychiatrist), because they will be able to help you.

But if you find it difficult to look for this help on your own, turn to a friend or family member to help you manage it.

2.- Ask for information about what happened to you, the consequences and the treatment received.

3.- Buse resources or associations in your area where they can give you guidance and support.

4.- Work up a safety plan to reduce the risk of making another attempt.

How to develop a security plan

STEP 1.- Your warning signs: Identify what signs may indicate the return of suicidal thoughts (for example, the anniversary of a loss, changes in your mood, loss of interest in things, changes in your eating and sleep, consumption of toxics, thinking that things won’t change and everything will get worse… ).

STEP 2.- Your supports: Specify who are the people you can contact if suicidal thoughts start (for example: friends, family, therapists…).

STEP 3.- Contact: Contact “your supports”. Get there before anxiety blocks you and you are unable to control yourself.

Listen to the advice and accept the help they can give you. For their response to be as effective as possible it is very important that you are very honest with them.

STEP 4.- Helplines: Write down the contact phone numbers of your supports, if you don’t know them ask for them.

Keep a list of at least 5 people you can talk to when you have suicidal thoughts.

If the first one fails, call the second one and so on, and agree with them to call them if you try to self-harm.

The purpose of your SAFETY PLAN is to reduce the risk of committing suicide.

To prepare it, advises the AIPIS, you must be honest with yourself so that it adapts as well as possible to your needs.

You can do it alone, or you can also ask for help from one of your relatives, friends, psychologist, psychiatrist…

STEP 5.- 24 hour service: Prepare a list with the phone numbers of the services that attend to these situations 24 hours a day.

Use them in case the above steps fail and there is an imminent risk.

After you come up with a plan that you feel comfortable with and clearly understand, follow it step by step because it is an essential element in your recovery.

Put your plan in an accessible place, always carry it on you, or in times of greater risk hang it in a very visible place such as on the fridge.

If you miss any point in your plan, skip to the next step.

Suicidal thoughts: Helplines

In the event that your plan fails and there is an imminent risk, do not hesitate to call the helplines listed below.

In addition to 024, if you urgently need attention you can call these other phones that also have 24-hour service.
Emergency Services through 112 (SAMUR, SUMMA).
– International Association of Telephone of Hope: 717 003 717/91 459 0055.
Suicide Prevention Telephone: 900 925 555.
– Or go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital.

Some data

According to the report prepared annually by Observatory of Suicide in Spain of the Spanish Foundation for the Prevention of Suicideof the Foundation FEPSin 2020, 3,941 people died by suicide in Spain.

This figure represents an average of almost 11 people a day; 74% men (2,938) and 26% women (1,011).

Thus, 2020 becomes the year with the most suicides recorded in the history of Spain since we have data (year 1906).

Likewise, it is the first time in Spain that the thousand deaths by suicide in women have been exceeded, and it is also the first time that Spain has reached 14 suicides of children under the age of 15 (7 boys and 7 girls), doubling the cases of 2019 .

In addition, suicide in people over 80 has increased by 20%.

In summary, suicide is already the main cause of unnatural death in Spain, producing 2.7 times those caused by traffic accidents, 13.6 times more than homicides and almost 90 times more than gender violence.

From the aforementioned observatory, a significant decrease in suicides was expected by 2020.

However, it seems that after the confinement there has been a rebound effect.

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