We have put together helpful information from various sources on how best you can take care of your mental health. We have also included actionable steps you can take to provide support to your loved ones.
We will be frequently updating this resource hub so do well to keep coming back.
Suicide Prevention Toolkit
What is suicide?
Suicide is the act of an individual purposely ending his or her own life. statistics show that one person dies from suicide every second which makesMakes about 800,000 deaths a year. Death by suicide is the third course of this in the world for people aged 15 to 19 years.
Is there a cause?
There is no straightforward answer to why people choose to die by suicide. There are certain risk factors, however, Which make people more likely to have suicide ideation.
- Mental health problems like mood disorders, severe stress, eating disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, clinical depression, guilt and shame.
- Substance abuse.
- Recent loss of a loved one.
- Sexual identity crisis.
- Family history of suicide.
- Terminal illness.
- Severe stress.
- Inability to sustain meaningful relationships.
- Prolonged stressful life events (eg: bullying).
It is important to note that nine out of 10 times persons who chose died by suicide had a mental health problem.
LGBTQI+ persons are at a higher risk of attempting suicide.
Signs of a suicidal person
- Excessive sadness or moodiness: Long-lasting sadness, mood swings, and unexpected rage.
- Talks about feeling hopeless.
- Sleep problems.
- Sudden calmness after a major disturbing event.
- Withdrawal from activities that were previously enjoyed.
- Changes in personality or appearance.
- Dangerous or self-harmful behavior like newly acquired alcoholism or attempts at self-amputation.
- Making preparations such as rewriting a will, putting bank accounts in order etc.
- Threatening or talking about suicide.
- Talking about feeling trapped.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Talks about being a burden to others.
- Acting out of character (agitated and reckless).
Dealing with the loss.
When someone you know dies by suicide, it can be very difficult to deal with the loss. Aside from grief, some feel guilt wondering if they ever saw the signs right in front of them and missed them because they were too busy with their own lives. Others feel regrets and dwell on certain instances where they withheld help or affection towards the deceased.
You can deal with these emotions by avoiding isolation; you can join a support group
There are a number of support groups in Ghana to help deal with your loss. You can always send us an email via email@example.com and we will be happy to connect you with the right one.
What to do if you are contemplating suicide.
- Seek professional help – We at Hay Foundation Africa are here to support you through this process. You can reach out to us via this link
- Call the suicide hotlines in Ghana below:
- Call a trusted person to talk about it.
- Hand over weapons such as guns, knives, rope and any other medication to prevent you from harming yourself.
- Try to avoid isolation.
- Find stress relieving activities and do them daily.
- Avoid substance use and abuse.
- Journal your feelings both good and bad.
What to do when you see someone show the signs.
- Reach out to them. Ask them directly if they are contemplating suicide. Research has shown that asking directly does not contribute to the person’s decision to die by suicide. Treat their issues privately. If you see a post online showing signs of suicidal tendencies address the issue in private.
- If they refuse to talk to you, just let them know that you’re always ready to listen to them. Then try again later.
- Always listen attentively, without judgement and acknowledge their feelings. Let them know you understand how hard life has been for them.
- Ask them to seek professional help and follow up at a later date to find out if they did.
- Ensure that they aren’t alone.
- Remove weapons such as guns, knives, rope and any other medication to prevent them from harming themselves.
DON’T say committed suicide. Rather say died by suicide or took one’s own life.
DON’T say successful or unsuccessful suicide attempt either. Rather say, died by suicide or attempted suicide.
You can reach out to Hay Foundation Africa via Instagram @hayfoundationafrica or call us on 0242944636 if you or a loved one needs help.
Men and suicide
Men are four times more likely to go through with suicide. Women are three times more likely to attempt suicide. This is due to society instituting gender roles that discourages men showing their emotions as it makes them seem weaker or like women. This may explain why men are less likely to seek professional help for mental health problems.
We can all help by letting the men in our lives know that it is okay to express their vulnerability and that we are always available to listen to them without judgement.
Reporting on suicide news
- Avoid over sensationalization.
- Issue a trigger warning first.
- Promote mental health awareness.
- Speak on the facts.
You can reach out to Hay Foundation Africa via Instagram or call us on 0242944636 if you or a loved one needs help