No one really wants to talk about it, but suicide is the number 2 cause of death for individuals between 10-34 years old, and it remains common for older adults as well. Suicide does not just impact the individual and it sends out shock waves through families and our community. Contrary to popular belief, there are usually signs when it comes to suicide. Suicidal individuals may make comments or gestures about what they plan to do. They do this because some part of them wants help. For those of us who encounter these comments and gestures we should watch for these warning signs:
The best thing that you can do if you see these signs in friends and loved ones is to start the conversation. Do not wait for them to bring up suicide or depression. Some people openly express this but not everyone does. If you find out that someone is suicidal please act quickly. If you know that someone is about to end their life you may decide to call 911 and express your concerns. There are also crisis centers that you could take this person. In the Palm Desert area one location is RI International (442) 268-7000. There are also 24 hour hotlines for Suicide like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. The most important thing you can do for a suicidal friend or family member is to listen and ask questions.