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Suicide Prevention Awareness

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Did you know:

  1. Worldwide there is 1 death by suicide every 40 seconds
  2. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for individuals aged 15-44 years old
  3. In Cayman , a PAHO report examining 848 students indicated that 22.6% of students had thought about suicide, with 57.9% of those youth considering a plan of how they would attempt suicide.

These numbers are staggering.  How can you help lower these statistics?  There are several things you can do to help.

It is important to know the Warning Signs for Suicide:

  • Threats/talk about killing themselves
  • Increased drug/alcohol use
  • Impulsive/aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends/social events
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Language about death (whether through talking, writing, or discussion of thoughts).

Someone is at High Risk for Suicide when they display the following warning signs:

  • Planning/preparing for suicide
  • Shifting mood from despair to calm
  • Saying goodbye to friends/family
  • Putting affairs in order.
  • **Immediate action should be taken if these signs are noted (call 911).

Common Misconceptions about Suicide include:

  • if people talk about suicide they won’t really do it –> Most people talk about suicide or give a warning before they attempt suicide.
  • Anyone who tries to kill themselves is crazy –> Anyone can become depressed, hopeless, or have thoughts of suicide.
  • If a person wants to kill themselves it will happen –> Most individuals also waiver up until the moment of suicide.
  • Talking about suicide gives people ideas –> If someone is considering suicide, talking about it is often a relief and can actually prevent them following through on the ideas or can allow you to get them help before they act on it.
  • Suicidal people are unwilling to seek help –> Up to 60% seek medical attention six months before a suicide attempt
  • Suicide is selfish –> Many times persons considering suicide feel like a burden to everyone around them.  They often see it as a way of relieving the persons around them.

How can you help someone who is suicidal? Or where can you get help?

  • Talking is helpful as it allows them to share about what they are going through. Make sure that you are supportive and open-minded – not critical, judgmental, condescending or dismissive.  Let them know you care.
  • Professional support from a Medical or Mental Health Professional.
    • At OnCourse Cayman we are able to provide support in a time of crisis.
    • Free Counselling Services are also available at The Counselling Centre (949-8789).
  • Remember, if someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency room.
  • A crisis hotline is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 943-2422.

**Suicide is Preventable.**  There is always help and hope.

Additional Resources/Helpful sites:

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our Psychologists, give us a call at 745-6463 or email at

-Dr. Alexandra Bodden & Dr. Colleen Brown

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