23 Nov Shattering the Silence Around Suicide
An EPiC Guide to Understanding and Preventing Suicide Among Teens and Young Adults
Hey there, changemakers!
We’re about to get real. We’re diving into a subject that’s heavy, serious and often swept aside. But silence? That’s not our style. We’re here to shatter the silence surrounding suicide.
In the corridors of our schools and colleges, behind the laughter and chatter, some of our mates, our friends, and other students that we might not know too well, may be fighting a silent battle. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but that’s the reality for many teens and young adults today.
So, what can we do? It’s simple; understand, educate and act. Together, we can be the difference!
Knowledge is Power
Let’s kick things off by debunking some myths about suicide.
Myth: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.
Fact: Most people who die by suicide have given some indication or warning. Don’t ignore indirect references to death or suicide. It’s a call for help, and we should take it seriously.
Myth: If a person is determined to kill themselves, nothing can stop them.
Fact: Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death and most waver until the very last moment. It’s never too late to intervene and save a life.
Education is power. By knowing the facts, we can be better equipped to help our friends in need.
Busting the Stigma
Mental health is NOT a taboo topic. Physical health and mental health are equally important, and just like we wouldn’t judge someone for having a physical illness, we shouldn’t stigmatise those struggling with their mental health.
Look for the Signs
Keep an eye out for these warning signs in your friends: –
They talk about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
They’re withdrawing from friends, family, and society.
They’re showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
They’re acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities.
Remember, these signs don’t necessarily mean your friend is contemplating suicide, but they do mean your friend needs help.
Using The EPiC Method.
Here at EPIC HOPE, our founder developed The EPiC Method, a 1 hour interactive session that comes with a powerful tool, a business size card for anyone to keep with them with instructions on what to do if you think someone is at risk of suicide. It’s a simple strategy, but a lifesaving one, and you can pick up the cards for free from any Harbour, or download from our Resources tab. The EPiC Method will help you approach a friend who might be contemplating suicide:
E – Evaluate the situation: Is your friend exhibiting warning signs of suicide? Don’t dismiss your gut feelings. If you’re worried, it’s time to act.
P – Prompt communication: Reach out to them. This isn’t a time for silence.
i – illustrate your concern: Show them you care. Let them know you’re there for them.
C – start a Conversation: Talk about it. It might be uncomfortable, but it can be lifesaving.
(Find out more about this training session under our Training tab)
If your friend is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 999 or a suicide helpline. You can download a list of helplines from our Resources tab. Remember, it’s better to overreact than to underreact.
EPiC HOPE Harbours
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, remember you’re not alone. EPiC HOPE Harbours are our safe spaces, open to anyone who needs a place to talk, to be heard, or simply to sit in silence. You’re always welcome here, and our doors (and our ears) are always open.
And that’s all for now, folks! Remember, your words and actions can have a profound impact. Let’s promise to look out for each other and to make our world a kinder, safer place, one step at a time.
There is always hope.
Until next time, keep being EPiC!