With the recent, very tragic, death of Robin Williams, I feel the need to talk about suicide prevention.  How you can recognize if someone is feeling suicidal and how you can step in and help.  Or, if you are feeling suicidal, how you can get the help you need. 

On a personal level, I had a friend in high school commit suicide.  A friend of mine recently had a family member commit suicide.  The pain that is left behind from someone taking their own life lasts forever.  You always wonder, what could I have done differently?  Were there signs?  Was my love and the love of everyone else not enough?  You will fight many emotions.  You will feel pity for the lost loved one.  You will feel sympathy.  You will feel sad.  But above all, you will feel angry.  It's been almost 20 years since my friend took his own life.  He was a child.  His death still shakes me today.  I think it will for the rest of my life.

According to the suicide prevention website Save.org, if you think someone may be suicidal, look for these warning signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health provider!

In an ermergency call:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Maine's Crisis Line: 1-888-568-1112

Suicide is PREVENTABLE!

If you are suicidal.  There is help out there.  There is hope.  You are NEVER alone.  You are important.