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Living is for everyone #SuicidePrevention

by Vidya Sury September 10, 2015 7 comments
World Suicide prevention day. you matter. Vidya Sury

Last month, we accompanied our son to complete his admission formalities at his college up North we stayed for a week. In that short time, one night, we heard a commotion in one of the hostels. The guest house where we stayed was some distance away, yet the sounds reached us. Turned out that one of the students had swallowed sleeping pills in an attempt to end his life. Luckily someone happened to go to his room and immediately arranged for the ambulance, which is available on campus to take him to the nearest hospital. He was saved.

Sadly, there are so many who aren’t.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in its report Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, states that over 800,000 people die by suicide across the world each year. Regardless of the statistics, each individual suicide is a tragic loss of life. No one can imagine the extreme psychological pain that drives someone to suicide as the only solution. Reaching out to someone who is struggling can make the difference between life and death.

The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day” is “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives

Who is at risk?

What warning signs to look for?


  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

If you know someone who shows these signs, how can you help?

Here is what to do:


  • Ask directly if the person is thinking about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow their expressions of feelings, and accept those feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life. Focus on being present with their feelings.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Check in with them regularly. Schedule times to talk for the next week when you will both be available, to see how they are doing.
  • Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you. Be patient with yourself and the situation.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove lethal means (weapons, pills, alcohol)
  • Get help from agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • Encourage (and offer to accompany) them to seek help and support from a crisis specialist, therapist, doctor and/or clergy member.
  • Talk together about they can use a crisis coping plan to help him/her to cope in these difficult moments.

Suicide is 100% preventable.

If you’re worried about someone, speak up. Reach out.

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an awareness day observed on 10 September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, to host World Suicide Prevention Day

world suicide prevention day 2015 Suicide is 100% preventable. Speak up. Reach out. Vidya Sury


Suicide: Read this first

Suicide prevention helplines

International Association for Suicide Prevention

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Nabanita September 11, 2015 at 12:57 pm

This reminds me of a batchmate who has committed suicide during the first year of engineering…I had seen him that very day in the Workshop and just like that he was no more the next day… Yes, so many lives a lost and can’t be saved…We need to be vigilant and more importantly we need to sensitive and try and understand…
Nabanita recently posted…Just Another Birthday Story..

Darla M Sands September 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Most difficult on the list is the person acting happier or calmer. And the only answer is to keep checking in, I think. Thank you for sharing this valuable information.
Darla M Sands recently posted…Dancin’ the Night Away

Birgit September 19, 2015 at 8:47 am

I can relate to this all too well. To be honest, I was so severely bullied in High school that I was close to it. Being told you are a burden to your family, that you are ugly and worthless plus literally being threatened to have your throat slit, puts a heavy weight on young shoulders. I can thank my family for helping me. My mom desperately trying to get me to talk and her saying “Remember, the birds always sing in the morning” stayed with me. When I visited my brother in University and was treated as an equal, with respect, completely changed how I looked at life. I chose to enjoy every aspect of life and to never harm others like what was done to me for years. I love beauty in all it ways, music, animals, family and I love hearing the birds sing. I have known 3 people who have committed suicide and it devastates the family left behind. I have had people tell me their dark thoughts when they are in my office and I always try my very best to do exactly what you wrote here because they deserve that respect and dignity. I hope this boy finds the help and finds the strength and joy in life.

susan September 19, 2015 at 7:47 pm

The written info was very very good and to the point,however,in my experience people who I told I was feeling like this did nothing!,they seemed to run the other way.Despite all the tears the fears the sadness the lonliness I felt,nobody acted like they truly cared,even the samaritans,a woman on the line said to me ” get out into the sunshine,silly girl get out and enjoy the day” I felt mortified and worse.I feel that it seems even the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff doesnt always come after the event takes place! there is only one person that can do anything and that is our selves and we have to want to go on.

Vidya Sury September 19, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Oh Susan, a big warm hug to you. I am so sorry you went through that – one of the worst things when one suffers is to have someone assume that saying “everything will be alright” will solve everything! You are absolutely right about the will to do anything coming from within…however, it helps to have the right person encourage you, inspire you to make that change. Sending you lots of love. Please know that you can talk to me anytime, Susan. I am here to listen.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Hard Knock Cafe #MondayMusings

susan September 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm

And to this day years later,my family memebers dont even want to approach this subject,its like I am not worthy to be spoken to about this in my family,siblings are all cautious and it is as if we are classed as B grade human beings, once we have any thing that is to do with sadness and sorrow suicide is very painful for all,and yet some still dont seem to truly care even after the incident.

Vidya Sury September 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm

I cannot accept the ostrich mentality. I have a few instances in my life that my family prefers to pretend didn’t happen, Susan. Hugs. I know how it feels.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Lighting the Lamp of Love


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