How to tell if someone is at risk of suicide

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She suggested that she call the person and say, “Hey, I was thinking of you and just wanted to let you know that I appreciate everything that you’ve done.” Be as specific as possible, referencing a time they helped you. The goal, Dr. Walker said, is that “people see the value that someone else has in their lives.”

Along with checking your loved ones, it is equally important to restrict their access to lethal means. Firearms are involved in most suicide deaths, while drugs are used in most non-fatal suicide attempts.

“One of the best ways we can help each other, especially in any time of crisis, is by staying safe with our firearms and our medicines,” Dr. Tucker said. He recommended installing trigger locks on firearms, separating ammunition from weapons, and getting rid of drug stores.

These prevention steps are the most practical for protecting the people in your own household. If you know a friend has a firearm, Dr. Tucker suggests asking about their gun storage safety precautions or giving them a cable lock to use on the weapon. These types of gestures can lead to a conversation in which you can “offer to hold a friend’s gun if they ever struggle,” he said.

According to the Suicide Prevention website for Veterans Affairs, even small steps, such as putting the gun away and putting it away in a safe, “can be an effective barrier between suicidal impulse and action”.

In fact, while someone may have thought about suicide for months or even years, the urge to act is quite impulsive. Dr. Marshall said that on average, less than 30 minutes pass between when a person decides to attempt suicide and when they take action.

If someone doesn’t have access to the means they plan to use, they are unlikely to change methods. “People want to die by suicide, but if they don’t have access to a firearm and thus want to kill themselves, they are much less likely to die,” Dr Tucker said.

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