Talking about Suicide: Watch for signs

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Though Mental Illness Awareness Week has ended we still need to be vigilant of the signs as on any given day, 11 people in Canada will die by suicide. Defence Team members are not immune to this issue.

One of the most powerful ways we can assist a person considering suicide is by intervening, and one of the most important ways we can intervene is to talk to people who we think are suffering.

Asking simple questions like: “How are you?” “You haven’t seemed yourself lately, and I am really worried about you,” or “Are you thinking of suicide or harming yourself?” can resonate deeply with a person in distress.

If the person answers in the affirmative, express your compassion, keeping in mind that they are in a terrible place if they are feeling suicidal. Explain that the next step is to seek help, and then call 911 immediately. Most people who are suicidal are feeling a loss of belonging, so it is essential that you remain with them, and be supportive until medical services arrive.

To find out more about this subject, read the Talking about Suicide: Watch for Signs article on the Defence Team intranet at intranet.mil.ca.

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