Expert tips on how to prevent suicide

World Suicide Prevention Day: Expert tips on how to prevent suicide

September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Here's how you can help prevent suicide.

Woman holding pills with bandaged hand
Woman holding pills with bandaged hand / iStock

It is estimated that there are currently more than 700 000 suicides per year worldwide, states the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are currently more than 700 000 suicides per year worldwide.

This year's theme is 'Creating Hope Through Action'. Everyone has a part to play in reducing suicide stats. 

According to WHO, 'our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling'. 

These include offering emotional support to a person who is feeling suicidal and restricting access to things that can be used in the attempt to take one's life. Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally, according to WHO. 

If you are battling with suicidal thoughts, below are tips which are inspired by the Help Guide organisation: 

- Reach out for help. Talk to a loved one that you trust and contact professional counsellors. You can contact Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567, SADAG on 0800 567 567, Cipla on 0800 456 789 or on their WhatsApp line 076 882 2775. 

READ:  Why you can seem successful and still suffer from depression

Tips to help prevent suicide

Dr Scheepers, a psychiatrist based in Cape Town, gives the following guide to help someone who is feeling suicidal:

“If the suicidal person confides in you, listen attentively and tell them you want to help them," says the expert. 

"Offer them advice about whom to go to, emphasising that professional help is both available and necessary."

Dr P Mothapo, a Clinical Psychologist at Life Carstenview, says professional help is important. 

"It is of paramount importance to provide support to suicidal individuals. Reaching out and exploring their emotional state would assist in instilling hope, i.e. asking about how they feel without judgement," says Dr Mothapo. 

She adds that you should remove any health hazards. 

"Make sure that the individual is in a safe place; remove potentially harmful objects and medication," she says.

"As soon as possible, get professional help for the individual (psychologist and social workers), i.e. accompany the person to healthcare institutions (local clinic, health centre or hospital) or call the Depression and Anxiety Helpline (0800 70 80 90)," concludes Dr Mothapo. 

READ: How to deal with suicidal thoughts 

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