Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash
Written by Guest Blogger
Head of Prevention Outreach
Health and wellness usually focus on the physical markers, such as Body Mass Index, blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle mass and more. But wellness also includes the ability to get through your day feeling good about yourself and your life. With mental illness and addiction issues, wellness can be more difficult to achieve. When you’re struggling with life, you might have thoughts of suicide, and you’re not alone.
Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable death. In 2009 alone, there were about 100,000 years of potential life lost to Canadians younger than 75 as a result of suicides, with men at a higher risk than women. There were 3,890 suicides in Canada, a rate of 11.5 per 100,000 people. Research has shown that mental illness is the most important risk factor for suicide; and that more than 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a mental or addictive disorder. Depression is the most common illness among those who die from suicide, with about 60 percent suffering from this condition.
Another major risk factor is addiction. The rate of major depression is four times higher than those without, and people with substance abuse issues are six times more likely to commit suicide than those without. Sometimes it’s the drugs or alcohol that make people have suicidal thoughts, and sometimes it’s the idea that they have no hope.
Here are some warning signs that you or someone you love is at risk for suicide:
If you are feeling suicidal, like there’s no hope and your life isn’t worth continuing, seek help immediately. While you may not be able to see it now, there is always a way out of your situation and a future for you.
Connect with others: If you are worried that you may lose control of your actions and hurt yourself or others, tell someone. Tell a trusted friend who can lend an ear. Reach out to a suicide hotline. Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
Clear your home of weapons: Get rid of ways to hurt yourself, such as pills, guns or razor blades. If you can, leave the home and go somewhere you feel safe.
Develop a plan: Write down a method to keep you from hurting yourself. Keep it in clear sight, so that it’s easy to find. Write down ways to help you calm down, clear reasons to stay alive, phone numbers of friends and crisis lines, write down a place where you feel safe or remind yourself to go to the hospital. When you’re suicidal, you may not be thinking clearly, so having a written plan can help.
See a professional: Get help. If you’re suffering this much, you should be under a doctor’s care. Talk to your primary care physician, who can recommend mental health professionals to you. She can also get you started on medication that can help you feel better. You may not want to talk about your problems, but talking does help.
Remember that no matter how bad life gets, it will always get better. It may not get better soon, and you may have to work extra hard to get there, but it will. Everything passes. Remember that there are people who love you and want you in their lives. Take care of your mental health so you can start to build a happier tomorrow.
I'm a nature loving, garden growing, foodie who loves to eat sweet treats, walk barefoot, snuggle with my dog, discover waterfalls, gaze at the stars,explore my dreams and co-create my own reality.