Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still death by suicide

Suicide; I don’t mean to dwell on it, but it keeps “coming up” at the office. There are always different reasons behind each one or different stories of each of these individuals’ lives before their death by suicide. Each is a bit different in method. But it comes down to death by suicide.

Remember, asking an individual if they are planning to commit suicide has not been shown to precipitate the suicide. There are potential benefits to asking, however. Asking may show them that someone cares, which may be something they need right then. Asking about means or methods considered allows those means to be removed from where they might be used. Identifying someone as suicidal may allow for mobilization of family and friends and beefing up their social support system, which may make the difference. Asking them about reasons to live may get them to expand their thinking beyond that one last choice. Asking about suicidal ideation and intent may be the first step in their getting the help they need (and yes you may need to push them to get that help).

Another “cluster” of unrelated deaths by suicide gets me thinking and hoping for a way to prevent at least some of them.

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