The month of September is Suicide Prevention Month. World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated on September 10, to raise awareness. Suicide, according to the Suicide Prevention Association, is an act of voluntarily taking one’s life, with full knowledge or expectation of a fatal outcome.
The suicide rate is three times higher in men than in women. In 2019, more than 97,000 suicides were recorded on our continent, of which 79% were men, although an increase in suicidal ideation has been recorded among women, which was associated with greater social and partner stress.
Risk factors for suicide are: genetic, depression, deep sadness, extreme fear, abuse, helplessness and hopelessness. In the United States, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death. Uruguay, for its part, leads the Latin American country with the highest suicide rate. South Korea and Lithuania lead the list worldwide. In India suicide among women has increased due to abuse.
Suicide among women in Japan increased due to unemployment in 2022. In Spain, suicide increased in octogenarians, which may be related to loneliness and loss. In the United States, when a person attempts suicide, the court orders a Baker Act, so that another person can manage their life.
Suicide can occur due to mental health problems and chronic illnesses, due to alcohol and drug abuse, family and financial problems, bullying, physical, emotional and psychological abuse, abandonment, sexual violence, cyber violence. and access to firearms.
Pre-suicidal behavior, where people cause injuries to themselves, with the intention of harming themselves and not going further, in many cases is a manipulative wake-up call. There is also self-mutilation, which is when people cause physical injuries, burns or other types of injuries, so as not to feel the emotional pain as much.
The risk factors identified are: self-destructive behaviors, having attempted suicide, family history of suicide, suffering loss of home, relationships, or death, being part of an event that causes guilt, shame or dishonor, physical and mental health problem, knowing of another person’s suicide, easily accessing information related to death and being impulsive.
Warning signs: threatening to kill yourself, having a plan, giving away belongings, arranging wills and insurance, making a note saying goodbye to friends or loved ones. If these red flags are identified, you should seek professional help or call the suicide prevention and crisis line at 988. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Family counseling and support from loved ones is very important to overcome personal difficulties.
Mental health expert