In recent times, suicide has become a disturbing feature in our society. Youths are not excluded from this worrying trend. Nigerians that were once famously labeled ‘happy-go-lucky people’ now find suicide attractive. Suicide is the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. It is a tragic event with strong emotional repercussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. People of all ages, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and physical capabilities are at risk for suicide. It can affect anyone, both the strong and the weak. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide.

What Drives People To Take Their Own Lives?

It is said that for every successful suicide, there are ten men and women who attempt suicide. And for every one of those, there are ten who think of taking their lives, but do not. The leading cause of suicide throughout the world is untreated depression. Experts say 90% of individuals who commit suicide are experiencing a mental health issue at the time of their deaths. However, there are other causes beyond the realm of mental illness that could lead to a person considering taking his or her life. Here are some of the common causes of suicide:

Family History Of Suicide Or Violence.

*Drug addiction/substance abuse.

*Sexual or physical abuse.

*Death of a close friend or family member.

*Relationship problems e.g being in an abusive relationship, divorce or separation, ending a relationship.

*Failing academic performance and poor exam results.

*Unemployment or job loss, challenges at work.

*Social isolation and loneliness are massive contributors to why people take their lives.

*Terminal illnesses.

*Financial Problems.

Suicide Signals:

Helping someone who wants to commit suicide starts with recognizing the warning signs. From 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone — a friend or relative — a warning sign. Speak up and seek professional help immediately if you think a friend or relative is considering suicide. Through understanding, reassurance, and support, you can keep your loved one alive and help him or her overcome thoughts of suicide.

Behaviors That Signal Suicide:

*Talking about suicide.

*Noticeable mood swings.

*Expressions of wanting to die or be killed; statements such as, “I wish I was never born;” “My family will be better off when I’m gone” etc.

*Hopelessness.

*Withdrawal from family and friends.

*Dangerous or self-harmful behavior.

*Getting affairs in order and giving away possessions. This might include visiting friends, family members and colleagues giving what sounds like a final goodbye.

*Acquiring items that provide the means to take their own life.

*Sleep Problems.

Helping Someone Who Wants To Commit Suicide:

The best thing you can do for someone who is considering suicide is to get professional help and intervention.

*Let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone.

*Listen. Let the suicidal person unload despair, ventilate anger.

*Be sympathetic, non-judgmental, patient, calm, accepting.

*Empathize and ask questions in a mild and sincere manner.

*If the person is not comfortable speaking with you, suggest a qualified third party such as a psychologist, doctor, spiritual leader/clergy or counselor.

There is no need to face life’s challenges alone. Whatever issue you may be facing today, remember, there are over 7 billion people in the world today. Someone out there is ready to help you. Have courage to ask for help. To your success!

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