Male suicide rates in England and Wales hit a two-decade high in 2019 with 4,303 deaths. This accounted for three-quarters of the suicide deaths recorded that year. Women aren’t far behind with 1,388 deaths. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus probably made it worse. This is because it intensified anxiety, distress, and even signs of depression.
As the pandemic continues, it’s important to remember that the people around you can be suicidal. Those with mood disorders, such as major depression, are especially vulnerable.
Does Depression Increase Suicide Risks?
Yes, it can. People who have major depression are more likely to commit suicide than those who don’t. So pay close attention to your friends and family.
Those who deal with long-term difficulties are more likely to develop depression. Examples of these situations include:
- Prolonged stress
- Long-term unemployment
Unfortunately, these are quite common during the pandemic.
There are many signs of depression, such as hopelessness and self-harm tendencies. If you notice them in your loved ones, take action immediately. Let them know that you’ll support them in their struggles no matter what.
What NOT to Do When Supporting Someone Suicidal
You can support someone suicidal by listening to them without judging them. But be careful with how you interact with them. Some responses that seem helpful can make them feel worse. What are the things that you shouldn’t do when supporting someone suicidal?
Dismiss their struggles.
Saying “I know how you feel” to show you understand what they’re going through is not helpful. Everyone is different. Even if you have the same experience or situation, you should never respond to someone suicidal this way. In the same vein, don’t tell them:
- to “get over it,” “pull themselves together,” or “cheer up”
- that other people have it worse than them
- that they’re being silly or unreasonable
- they have no reason to feel suicidal
These statements are the opposite of health and social care for suicidal people. They can make your loved one feel like their pain is not important. As a result, they may withdraw further into themselves. They may also stop confiding in you.
Ignore the warning signs.
A personality or behaviour change is one of the signs that someone is having suicidal thoughts. So keep a close eye on your family and friends. Likewise, watch out for these red flags:
- Having mood swings
- Being more irritable or confrontational
- Being reckless
- Becoming anxious
- Becoming quiet
- Having negative thoughts about themselves
- Avoiding other people, including family and friends
- Sleeping too much or too little
If you know someone who underwent these changes, don’t think twice about reaching out to them.
Disregard your gut instincts.
Signs that something is wrong can be subtle. They can be an alarming thought disguised as a joke or a fake cheeriness. Don’t ignore them.
Not all suicidal people are open about how they’re feeling, so you need to observant. If you notice anything off with your friend or family, talk to them. Most importantly, don’t leave them alone. Seek professional help if necessary.
Dependable Listening Support for Suicidal People
Not everyone who has suicidal thoughts are comfortable with sharing their struggles with their loved ones. So don’t feel bad if your family or friend is hesitant about confiding in you. Respect their wishes and consider securing listening support in the UK.
You can count on Talking for Therapy when it comes to creating a safe, non-judgmental talking space. We offer active listening and understanding, confidential call sessions, and more.
If you know someone suicidal, it’s normal to feel confused, upset, scared, or frustrated. After all, you are dealing with a stressful situation. However, these feelings can also mean that you need to receive support yourself. Schedule a call today to start a healing journey with a simple chat. Let’s talk about YOU.