Fall semester topics

Focusing on suicide prevention

We all agree, that suicide is a serious tragedy for all involved and for the family and friends left behind, and for the community/society that looses a valuable individual forever.

In Hungary teen suicide rate is shockingly ranked second highest in the world, but most western societies struggle with high rates of suicide as well. Now, if you feel that suicide as a way-out-method is out of the question for you, there could be a friend or an acquaintance of yours who does consider it as a viable alternative regardless of how successful/wealthy/smart/beautiful etc. they may appear to be.

We know that hopelessness, despair and feeling alienated from others are leading warning signs for people feeling suicidal. We also know that being able to talk with someone about what is troubling and hurtful can lead to different and life affirming perspectives. Expressions of concern by friends, faculty and staff, the presence of helping resources combined with the personal effort to reach out and utilize help can and often does help. Sometimes persons in distress will post their thoughts and feelings on social media sites or through other means of electronic communication.

So how does a person get to the point of contemplating on suicide?

A preceived unbearable psychological pain is the common element of suicide. People consider killing themselves when they lose hope of finding another way to stop the pain. The risk factors listed below do not predict how any individual will behave. Many people may show some of these signs without ever trying to kill themselves. These are signs that let us know something may be seriously wrong and give us an opportunity to reach out and offer help.

- Significant loss
- Prolonged stress
- Unrelieved symptoms of mental health problems (especially depression and hopelessness)
- Noticeable changes in personality or lifestyle
- Social isolation
- Loss of interest in activities
- Direct or indirect statements about suicide or hopelessness
- Preoccupation with death
- Making a plan or other preparations
- History of previous suicide attempt(s)

Thoughts of suicide often come with a narrowing tunnel vision. It becomes harder and harder to see any other way out. It becomes harder and harder to imagine that anything other than dying could possibly relieve the pain. But there is help available-human beings who will work to help you find a way to go on living. People do recover from this experience.

If you read or see something that suggests your friend is feeling hopeless or in despair, consider taking one of the following actions: - If possible communicate directly to the person expressing your concern. This expression of concern and inquiry on your part may be just what the person needs to get help. You can review the suggestions in the following resource for helpful tips on warning signs and how you can help. Sorce info

  • Helping distressed and distressing students
  • International resource page for suicide prevention (country by country)
  • Additional web resources