Understanding suicide

we are suicidal

Posted by kvdl on October 27, 2008

Ask someone “who dies by suicide?” and they may, as a lot of people do list off a couple of high risk groups. The truth is, though, that if you look at suicidal thought as a spectrum from “I woud be better off dead” to “I cant take it anymore”, then you realise that any one of us can be in this spectrum at different times in our lives.

In our average lives we say “I could never take my own life”. We say this from a safe place, able to deal with lifes ups and downs. THIS CAN AND DOES CHANGE. If we lack or lose the ability to handle our emotions, negativity and frustration step in. we start moving towards the spectrum of suicidal thought. we feel we are not coping and life becomes a struggle. The constant struggle seems endless. our needs are not met and we slowly slide into wishing it was all over. 

The point I am trying to make is that suicide is not about them and us. while some groups are at higher risk, there is not a distinct type of person that ends there own life and a type that does not. It is more to do with a persons ultimate pain threshold which is not set in stone. In this area we must avoid absolutes.

For many of us who have lost some one to suicide there is always the feeling that we should have known or should have seen it coming. So what can we do with our intuiton that all is not right with someone, The simple answer is ask them. currently the thinking is QPR, Question, Persuade, Refer.

click for more info

First we have to question the person about how they are, “you seem a bit low?” etc and as appropriate ask them If they feel suicidal,are they thinking of killing themselves,have they a plan, a time etc.

If they are suicidal we persuade them to do something about it then we go on to refer them, doctor, councelor etc

This is a simple synopsis of qpr training but the essential thing is to ask.


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