The Ministry of Health told how to help a person with suicidal behavior

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Where to go to help someone with suicidal behavior

The Ministry of Health gave recommendations on how to recognize signs of suicidal behavior in others in order to prevent tragic consequences.

In Ukraine, in 2021, at least 5,914 citizens took their own lives. This was reported by the Ministry of Health.

According to the World Health Organization, every 40 seconds one person in the world takes his own life. At the same time, suicide attempts are much more frequent. According to some studies, for every adult who dies by suicide, there are more than 20 who attempt it. This means that every 2 seconds one adult makes a suicide attempt, the ministry wrote.

More than 800,000 people die by suicide every year worldwide. It is the second most common cause of death among people aged 15-29.

According to official data, 5,914 suicides were registered in Ukraine in 2021 (87% are men, 13% are women). However, the real numbers may be higher. Recently, the number of suicides has been declining every year. However, among children, on the contrary, it is growing, - the ministry reported.

Factors that may increase suicidal thoughts include:

  • previous suicide attempt or cases of suicide among relatives and friends;
  • experience of difficult life events, such as physical or emotional abuse;
  • sudden stressful events, such as the end of a relationship or job loss;
  • excessive use of drugs or alcohol;
  • feeling isolated or lacking social support;
  • anger, resentment towards other people, often due to imagined or real mistreatment;
  • the presence of a mental disorder in a person;
  • certain diseases, especially those with severe pain or disability.

A person's behavior can signal the potential presence of suicidal tendencies:

  • the appearance of anxiety, irritability, manifestations of conflict behavior;
  • detachment, avoidance of contact with friends and family;
  • frequent mood swings;
  • emergence of risk behavior;
  • sleep changes, lack of energy;
  • refusal to eat or overeat;
  • negative remarks about yourself;
  • remarks about the impossibility of getting out of a difficult situation;
  • difficulties in coping with daily problems;
  • loss of interest in one's own appearance;
  • trying to pretend to be fun.

If you believe that there is a direct threat to a person's life, you can act immediately. Mental health emergencies should be taken as seriously as physical ones.

If you witness suicidal behavior in a loved one or friend, try not to judge or criticize him.

The Ministry of Health recommends following the following algorithm of actions:

  • try to encourage the person to talk;
  • ask why she lives and why she wants to die;
  • try to talk about the people she cares about, who care about her and who might be hurt by committing suicide;
  • encourage the person to seek and ask for help;
  • make sure that the person with suicidal thoughts is not left alone and is not in danger.

At the same time, talk about the distant future should be avoided. Instead, help focus on how to live this particular day, the ministry said.

If you notice a direct threat to human life and health, please call 103 or the "hot line" for suicide prevention and psychological support for veterans Lifeline Ukraine - 7333.

Also, the All-Ukrainian Helpline works at 0800501701.

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