The two recent high profile suicides (Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain) can lead one to wonder: Are suicides on the rise and what can my colleagues and I do to prevent more of these tragic events? Unfortunately, suicide rates are on the rise and no single reason exists. What we do know is that clinical depression, whether undiagnosed or undertreated likely plays a significant role in the increase we are seeing.
We hope one day that we can recognize an individual’s plans or thoughts of committing suicide as easily as we can identify the sign of someone choking. But until that time, each of us needs to trust our instincts. It is always better to err on the side of safety.
Keep it Simple: Trust your instincts and do this!
If you are concerned about someone who seems depressed, you can ask them a couple of questions:
“You seem very down-do you think you are depressed?”
“Should I be concerned that you might hurt yourself?”
If the answer is to either question is yes, especially the second one, do not leave their side until you get them help. Contact their doctor or therapist, call 911 or go to an emergency room. Plain and simple! The rate of suicide can be reduced by educating our community on how to identify the signs of suicidal thinking and what to do when you see them. Trust your instincts and find out if you should be concerned.
Take this Questionnaire to evaluate the suicide risk level of someone you care about.
For more information about this topic, please see our September 2017 Blog: Do You Know How to Save a Friend’s Life?