Feeling suicidal? Tell somebody.

October 10th is designated as World Mental Health Day by the World Health Organization. This year, 2019, focuses on raising awareness on mental health issues, specifically, suicide prevention.

All over the world, suicide deaths are occuring in alarming rates. WHO data establish suicide as the second leading cause of global deaths, estimating that about 800,000 people die by suicide globally every year.

Certain situations can result in a descent into a downward spiral in a person's life. As these situations continue without resolution, the individual may feel that life is not worth living.

Mental disorders like existing depression, psychosis, problematic substance use, job, financial or relationship losses, domestic abuse and chronic pain are all examples of situations that may cause a person to feel worthless, hopeless, withdrawn and entertain thoughts of suicide.

If you feel this way, know that you are not alone and that help is available. Talk to someone about how you are feeling and your intentions. Talk to a family member, a colleague, a spiritual leader, a friend. Your family doctor, nurse practitioner, mental health counsellors and social workers are also available to help you and connect you with on going care. If you feel overwhelmed, go immediately to the hospital emergency room.

Others around suicidal people can also help by providing support and assisting them access mental health care.

Suicide can be prevented. Awareness of mental health issues can banish the stigma surrounding mental illness. In addition, it will make talking about suicide more comfortable.

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