Suicide is preventable. It does, however touch the lives of many Vermonters every year. In fact, while suicide has been increasing nationally over the past ten years, Vermont’s suicide rate is higher than the national average.
Ongoing stress and not knowing what is about to happen for long stretches of time can lead to mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety. With the Coronavirus outbreak, we are staying home to stay safe, but that can add to feelings of hopelessness and isolation.
If you or someone you know is having a hard time, getting help is key. Suicide is preventable.
You can help – yourself or others – by getting help.
Know what can put someone at risk of suicide, recognize the warning signs and reach out to get help before and during a crisis.
How you can help
Prevention is also something that we can all individually help with. A short conversation with another person can sometimes be enough to make the difference between life and death for them.
The advice ‘WAIT’ is one good way to remember how you can support another person who may be suicidal. It stands for:
Watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour
- e.g. social withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability, uncharacteristic outburst, talking about death or suicide
Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”
- Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead a person to start thinking about it; in fact it may help prevent it, and can start a potentially life-saving conversation
It will pass – assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time
Talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional