3 steps to prevent suicide

Don't wait until its too late to save a life.

Get appropriate help for them.

Early February Kenyans woke up to the heartbreaking news of a 22-year-old student, Brian Kagwe who committed suicide. According to the local dailies, Brian and his friends were involved in an accident with Brian’s car that left one of his friend’s seriously injured. A disturbed Brian went back home to his mother saying that he saw no reason to live with his friend so badly injured. What she didn’t know was that she was the one to find him a few moments later with a bleeding chest and his father’s gun in hand.

A lot of his friends took to their social media pages to express their disappointment of his unnecessary death mainly stating that this could have been avoided if only he had spoken to someone about what he was feeling. Common a regret isn’t it?

It’s not easy identifying a suicidal person. First and foremost, it’s unimaginable that a friend or a sibling would want to end their life. I mean, unless it’s been verified that they are struggling with depression, nobody thinks it possible.

But it’s been happening and it’s real.

A lot of has been written about suicide and but Lifeline, an Australian based organization made it easier with three simple steps. Read on.

1) Approach and ask

If at all you think that someone is suicidal, do them a favour and not beat around the bush. Approach them directly and ask, “Are you thinking about suicide?” This shows that you have been paying attention and that you care. Be careful however not to come out as judgemental. Keep a neutral face all through.

2) Listen to them

The second question should be why and what is going through their minds at the moment. Listen to what they have to say without giving your own opinions at first. Remember your reaction to details and their expression could either make them feel hopeful or lose it all together. Be there for them even though it’s not physically. A phone call, texts or lunch dates should keep them in check.

3) Look for help

All said and done, you’re probably just a part of the solution and not all of it. Get appropriate help for them. Call family and if not then a psychologist. Nothing is a secret worth keeping when death is involved.

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