Education And Open Discussion Are Essential For Suicide Prevention

June 26, 2023; Unhurry Expert Research Team

Every suicide is a tragedy that has a profound impact on the survivors, including the families, communities, and entire nations. Knowing the warning signals and what to say, could save lives, according to a suicide prevention hotline clinician.

The number of suicide deaths in the United States has increased over the past 20 years, especially among males aged 45 to 64 and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 — a group whose suicide rates have tripled since 1999.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, almost 43,000 Americans commit suicide annually. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have increased in the United States over the past 20 years, notably among males aged 45 to 64 and girls aged 10 to 14 — a group whose rates have tripled since 1999.

Despite having the third-lowest suicide rate in the nation (after New York and Massachusetts), according to the New Jersey Department of Health, the state’s rates are rising, rising by approximately 26% between 1999 and 2014. In the state, a suicide death occurs every 11 hours on average.

Stigma associated with people who seek help for mental health

Peers, mental health specialists, and clinicians at the New Jersey Hopeline (855-654-6735,, the state’s first suicide prevention hotline, operated by Rutgers University Behavioural Health Care, have been concerned with this uptick in deaths by suicide. “There remains a lot of stigma associated with people who seek help for mental health, which prevents them from getting the assistance they need,” says William Zimmermann, the Hopeline’s clinician supervisor. “We need to pay more attention to suicide prevention.”

Zimmermann addresses what people and communities can do to address the rise in suicides and promote prevention.

Who is often the first line of defence in suicide prevention?

Everyone can participate in suicide prevention. The signs that someone is considering suicide should be watched out for by family, friends, and acquaintances.

A misperception is that suicides happen without warning. While this does occur, most of the time the person suffering has attempted to communicate his or her distress or plans to someone else. It may not be clearly stated, so asking direct questions about suicide can start the conversation and help-seeking process.

What are some signs that someone is suicidal?

Increased substance misuse, worry, agitation, trouble sleeping, or abrupt mood swings can all be warning signs of danger. Warning indicators may include a sense of helplessness, confinement, or purposelessness. Concerns include social seclusion, irrational rage, and hazardous activity. The most important thing is to seek immediate help or guidance if someone expresses a desire to harm or kill themselves, makes threats to harm or kill themselves, or shows signs of trying to find a way to kill themselves. You can do this by calling a mental health professional or the New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline, where professionals will listen to your concerns and work with you to create a plan to get your friend or relative the help they need.

If you notice signs that someone is suicidal, what should you do?

Don’t let it go and hope they aren’t thinking about suicide. Directly inquire as to whether they are considering suicide. “I care about you,” you can say. “I’ve had some questions about some of the things you’ve said or done. Are you considering ending your life?” It’s that easy.

If they say they are considering suicide, don’t judge, don’t deny, and don’t dare. Telling them “Don’t say that” or “You shouldn’t feel like that” will likely send the message that you aren’t interested in continuing this important conversation. Saying “Oh, you don’t mean that; you have so much to live for” shows you are not listening. Denying their perspective diminishes the likelihood of having them open to you. Don’t promise to keep it a secret. Get support for yourself and for the person talking about suicide. Personally, I’d rather have a friend angry at me than one who died by a suicide I might have been able to help prevent.

What are some public misperceptions of suicide?

Callers to the Hopeline occasionally express concern that broaching the subject of suicide will “put the idea in a person’s head.” This is untrue. Opening up the subject for debate gives people the chance to express something difficult they had previously had to bear alone. Additionally, it offers a chance to step in.

It is also important to clarify the notion that suicide is a form of retaliation or hostility. Most suicide victims believe they are a burden to those closest to them or that they are separated from them. Their perspective becomes so warped that they start to assume that dying will somehow be advantageous to people around them.

How can society reduce the stigma surrounding a person who seeks help for a mental health condition?

Open dialogue and education are crucial. According to the data, about one in five Americans will suffer from a mental health condition each year. In the US, suicide claims nearly three times as many lives as homicide, and 25 attempts are made for every suicide fatality. That is more than one million tries annually. This is not an uncommon occurrence or one that should be ignored or restricted to academic journals. We should hold a public discussion about this.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Page citation:

Rutgers University. “Suicide prevention’s front line: Family and friends.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2016. <>.

Help is here:

Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline Kiran (1800-599-0019)

Name of the Organisation: Aasra

AASRA volunteers conduct workshops on different levels with high-risk target groups eg school, college students, highly-stressed employees of call centres, financial institutions, multinationals etc. AASRA volunteers have Outreach programs to reach out to the multitudes who may choose to end their lives because of chronic suffering or terminal illness.

Contact: email:

 Telephone: 91-9820466726

Name of the Organisation: Vandrevala Foundation

Vandrevala Foundation is a non-profit that partners with organizations to help communities thrive by providing education and healthcare. Vandrevala Foundation launched a mental health helpline in India in 2009 to offer free psychological counselling and crisis mediation to anyone who is experiencing distress due to depression, trauma, mood disorders, chronic illness, and relationship conflict.


Contact: Email:

Telephone: +91 9999 666 555

Leave a Reply