Suicide calls rank among the most stressful cases police encounter. But, according to recent statistics, suicide is the 11th most common cause of death in the U.S., while homicide ranks 13th.
The causes of suicide are many, but most can be linked to depression, which is becoming more and more common among adolescents and young children.
Potential suicides arenít always easy to spot and detecting this tragedy before it happens is complicated. But there are some potential warning signs and things you can do if you suspect a personís considering ending his or her life. You should be concerned if he/she is:
- Preoccupied with death themes in music, literature or other artistic ways;
- Has spoken of "wanting out;"
- Is despondent over a recent change in circumstances;
- Has a lack of interest in things he/she would normally find interesting;
- Make statements such as, "Youíd be better off without me."
While a person contemplating suicide might exhibit other behaviors and someone with the mentioned behaviors may not be thinking about suicide, donít take chances. Intervene. How?
First -- if you suspect someoneís suicidal, ask him. If the answerís "yes" or you believe the person intends to commit suicide, donít leave him/her alone. Get help immediately. Call the police, emergency medical services, a member of the clergy or a trusted friend or family member.
Second -- if you believe someone may be thinking about suicide, but donít see an immediate danger, reassure him/her and get help as soon as possible.
Remember, no matter how bad things get, most will improve with time. If you suspect someone is contemplating suicide -- or if youíve considered it yourself -- seek assistance. Itís a move you wonít regret.