There are a number of warning signs that occur when it comes to the possibility that you or others may be having suicidal thoughts. This can arise as obvious changes or signs that are readily noticed or they can occur as slight changes.
There is usually a complex set of reasons and situations that lead to suicidal thoughts which are often attributed to the need to end emotional pain however the best place to start is by talking to someone, either a trusted friend, colleague or family member or by seeking professional help.
Anxiety, distress and a sense of shame is often associated with thoughts of suicide however removing the stigma around this subject and encouraging those feeling overwhelmed and alone to reach out and seek support is paramount in reducing deaths by suicide.
Educating ourselves and becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of suicidal thoughts is particularly crucial when working in a policing environment as history tells us that police are not immune.
A number of signs that may give rise for concern;
- Social Isolation and withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities
- Angry outbursts or contained anger
- Risky behaviours that are out of character
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Difficulty sleeping
- Giving away possessions
- Low mood
- Poor hygiene
- Losing or gaining weight
- Avoiding places or activities
- Feeling hopeless, helpless or out of control
- Views of worthlessness or being a burden
- Feeling physical pain with no obvious cause
- Feelings of loss of control with no sight of the future
It is vitally important to remember you are not alone and support is available to assist navigating this difficult and distressing time. Reaching out is the first step to recovery.
If you or someone you are concerned about is in crises call the suicide call back service on 1300 659467 or Lifeline on 131114.