End the stigma on suicide
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim lives, deaths from suicide continue to surge as well. Sometimes, living can be unbearable that some of us lose our battles on that dark void, (of) suicide. I’ve heard stories, even went to a wake of someone who died by suicide, and I can barely envision the adversity that paved the way for someone to take their own life, and the agony and blame of losing someone to suicide that sets off afterwards. What’s unsettling is the fact that suicide is committed not only by adults but also the youth. Society, however, remains ignorant on suicide and mental illness.
Signs of people wanting to take their life are exhibited in many ways while others are not visible. Depression, anxiety, sheer of hopelessness, and stress are some of the leading causes of suicide. Efforts to address the tragedy in suicide have been expressed through prevention programs that are extended to various sectors of society like schools, organizations, and communities. There are numerous groups with advocacies created to assist individuals having suicidal thoughts and those with mental illness. There are also hotlines made available for those who need assistance.
However, regardless of the attempts to avert suicide cases, the number of self-inflicted death persist, which is in part due to the misconceptions surrounding this concern and the stigmatized context of suicide and mental illness. However, it has long been going on, people are hesitant to chew on this taboo matter owing to the fact that death has been an excruciating subject of discourse let alone talking about taking of one’s own life.
The penetrating dilemma that talking about suicide can foster ideas and trigger depressed individuals to harm themselves should be debunked. Encouraging them to speak up will not initiate a suicide attempt. Preventing them from expressing their thoughts and fears will. The reluctance to converse about suicide, spells the hesitation of the individuals to seek the help and treatment they require as well.
On that note, the notion on asking for professional help means you are insane should be discredited too. Along with the suffering of suicidal thoughts and mental illness, stigmas as such results in refusal of seeking medical attention and resorts to self-diagnosis which is way more dangerous for them. This is why we should encourage them to seek professional assistance because this is one way for them to create an environment for healing, and recovery, as suicidal thoughts and mental illness calls for an extra help and is not supposed to be battled alone.
Suicides are one of the dangers of an untreated mental illness, which can be anticipated and prevented, contrary to prevalent notion that suicide is idiosyncratic. If we continue to cover suicide with falsehood, the more we gamble with the lives of the people in crisis. Discussing suicide and the factors responsible for it, is beyond helpful not just in terms of breaking the stigma, raising awareness but to also grant the individuals with suicidal thoughts the chance to have a different grit on their situation – to rethink their outlook on life. Supporting them will not cost us anything, this gesture might be a small act of kindness on our angle but to them, it is big enough to keep them going. After all, listening, showing compassion and making each other feel that we care for one’s mental health can save lives.
September, the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, has ended but generating awareness on this matter should on no account, end. We can partake in suicide prevention by comprehending the concerns revolving around suicide and mental health – in order to do more, we have to educate ourselves more. It’s about time for us look at suicide and mental health issues on a different angle, so that we can shift the discussion on these crucial matters, it’s the least thing we can offer. We owe it to the victims of suicide, to the individuals battling with mental illness, and to the suicide survivors to advocate for a culture of improvement. It’s better to hear them speak about their despair and agitation rather than to hear about their funeral. (MERLY ANNE A. MANANDEG)