Suicide is a leading cause of death among working-age adults and teenagers. It deeply impacts workers, families, and communities. Fortunately, like other workplace fatalities, suicides can be prevented. Below are 5 things to know about preventing suicide.
There is a troubling trend of suicides worldwide in the post-pandemic era, with a particularly disconcerting prevalence among teenagers and young adults.
Back home, I observed a sudden surge in suicide cases following the pandemic. I received a continuous stream of messages inquiring about the reasons behind these tragic occurrences, with some individuals seeking to understand how to deal these instances. The mere contemplation of someone taking their own life is profoundly unsettling.
In subsequent posts, I intend to share some reflections on this matter. More importantly, I will share information provided by professionals in the fields of therapy, psychology, and social work. Perhaps by doing so, I can offer assistance to my friends who are educators, administrators, parents, or neighbours, enabling them to recognize potential signs of suicidal tendencies in individuals they encounter, whether in classrooms or their social circles. Above all, it is essential that we delve into the underlying causes of this alarming crisis affecting our teenagers and young adults.
According to Dr. Freedenthal, a psychotherapist, the three-letter word “WHY” torments many of us who love someone with suicidal thoughts. Truly, each time we hear of someone committing suicide, our first question is, “WHY?” This tormenting question remains, “Why suicide?” Many people who suffer emotional pain, entrapment, mental illness, and existential despair never experience suicidal thoughts. There is still much we don’t know, but according to Dr. Freedenthal, we can identify many characteristics, also known as risk factors, that are linked to suicide:
HUMILIATION (I have highlighted this word because I will discuss it further in relation to social media later),
Guilt or Shame,
Mental pain, and
POOR PROBLEM-SOLVING skills.
By now, you may already be contemplating these factors, and you might be surprised that just by considering the items above, you could possibly think, “I understand” or “that’s why.” In the next post, I will delve deeper into or discuss more thoroughly the risk factors I mentioned above, particularly HUMILIATION, SELF-HATRED, and POOR PROBLEM-SOLVING skills.
Sources: Freedenthal, PhD, “What family and friends can say and do”- Suicidal Thoughts) Stats from Substance abuse and Mental Health Services Admin 2020, Ivey-Stephenson et.al., 2020).
Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity.
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