Suicide: An act that can be prevented Suicide: An act that can be prevented

Suicide: An act that can be prevented

Prevention 10 September, 2017 Ana María López de Mesa

Psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors can all play a role in a suicide attempt. While it is a complex problem, addressing it is a key prevention strategy.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day that seeks to support the commitment to dealing with this worldwide issue and the measures taken to fight it.

Mental illnesses, such as depression, as well as the excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol are some of the most influential risk factors for suicide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has been widely proven that the proper prevention and treatment of these two conditions reduces suicide rates. Consistent follow-up with those who have already made an attempt also reduces these rates.

While suicide used to be most common among the elderly, now youth is the group that is considered to be at the greatest risk. It is therefore important to maintain an open and sincere dialogue among family to try and understand the problems an individual may be experiencing as well as seek professional help.

It is essential to be aware of the symptoms related to depression such as isolation or insomnia. It is especially important to be there for those who have made a suicide attempt or who have lost someone close to them from suicide, engaging in effective communication where listening is a priority and judgements are avoided. It is also crucial to seek out professional help and restrict access to common methods of suicide.