Robin Williams’s death shines a very public light on what is usually the private agony of depression and suicide. In fact more people die of suicide than in car accidents but nobody talks about it. The reasons why a person takes their own life are complex but with the outpouring of emotion surrounding Robin Williams passing comes an opening to talk about what we can do to prevent suicide. Here are the Warning signs followed by links to resources on the topic and depression.
Warning Signs of Suicide
· Displaying extreme mood swings
· Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
· Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
· Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
· Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
· Sleeping too little or too much
· Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
· Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
· Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
· Withdrawing or isolating themselves
· Talking about being a burden to others
· Loss of interest In things one cares about
· Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
· Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
· Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
· Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
Suicide and Depression Sites
SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
One of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to suicide prevention. It’s a non-profit made up of volunteer survivors that believe suicide shouldn’t be considered a taboo topic and through raising awareness, they can “SAVE” lives.
All About Depression
A site started by Dr. P that provides visitors easy access to depression information online. It wants to make depression available so that people know they’re not alone and that help and support are available.
A mental health website started by the parents of Morgan Leslie Segal, who died in 1996 at 29 years old because she was never warned about the suicidal side effects of antidepressants. She started with low self-esteem, but because of the medication, it worsened into major depression which cause her to commit suicide.
Out of the Darkness
A website for the “Out of the Darkness Walk” that is 16-18 miles and lasts through the night to raise awareness about suicide and bring it into light. Net proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to fund research, education, survivor and awareness programs – both to prevent suicide and assist those affected by suicide.
A national chat network that provides online emotional support, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services. Callers can explore feelings, and chat specialists will come up with a safety plan and coping strategies if they sense a suicide risk.
A website where anyone who is feeling low, depressed or anxious can communicate with each other and offer peer support to one another.
Started by Reese Butler, whose wife, Kristin, committed suicide. His mission is to offer hope and the option to live to those in the deepest emotional pain.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The website for the 24 hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Follow me on Twitter @loraineballard