Suicide is becoming a monumental issue – especially amongst students between the ages of 15 and 24. As a peer, you have a front row seat in recognising when someone needs your help. You could save a friend’s life if you simply listen, talk, and act when you notice any suicidal behaviour. However, it is an alarming fact that many of us are ill-equipped to recognise negative behaviour.
😥World Suicide Prevention Day is held on 10 September each year to:
- Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
- Spread information about mental health and your wellbeing.
- Decrease the number of young people dying.
Lowering the number of suicidal deaths amongst young adults can be achieved by raising awareness and educating the youth on prevention strategies that everyone understands. These are some signs to look out for and how you can be supportive.
Suicide signs to look out for
- Behaving differently. Students with suicidal behaviour may have long-lasting depression, mood swings, and unexpected aggressiveness. This often occurs due to a lack of self-awareness.
- Isolating themselves. A suicidal student normally distances themselves from friends and social activities as a result of low relationship management
- Changing appearance and personality. A person who is thinking about committing suicide often shows a change in how they talk and present themselves.
How to be there for your friends
- Be a good listener. Your friend may not be looking for someone to solve their problems. They just want someone to listen to them. Unless you are asked to give advice, it is always best to speak less and listen more.
- Encourage recovery efforts. The road to mental health recovery is not something that happens overnight. Help your friends get the necessary student-support or life coaching and hold their hand every step of the way.
- Educate your friends on self-awareness and emotional intelligence. By helping your friend be more aware of common patterns in their behaviour, you will help them deal with situations in a more positive manner.
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