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Police Advice On Suicides

By Constable 3011 Makelle Pinder

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. Therefore due to the recent increase of this act within our nation, the Royal Bahamas Police Force recognises that Effective Prevention strategies are needed to promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change.

However, if one is not fully educated about this heartbreaking social ill, such efforts would be in vain. Listed below are a few answers to questions that are usually asked when one commits suicide.

What should you do if someone tells you they are thinking about suicide?

If someone tells you they are thinking about suicide, you should take their distress seriously, listen non- judgmentally, and help them get to a professional for evaluation and treatment.

People consider suicide when they are hopeless and unable to see alternative solutions to their problems. Suicidal behavior is most often related to a mental disorder (depression), alcohol or other substance abuse.

Suicidal behavior is also more likely to occur when people experience stressful events (major losses, incarceration). If someone is in imminent danger of harming himself or herself, do not leave the person alone. You may need to take emergency steps to get help, such as calling 911 or 919.

When someone is in a suicidal crisis, it is important to limit access to firearms or other lethal means of committing suicide.

What are the most common methods of suicide?

According to research and statistics, Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide for men and women, accounting for 60 percent of all suicides. The second most common method for men is hanging; for women, the second most common method is self-poisoning including drug overdose.

The presence of a firearm in the home has been found to be an independent, additional risk factor for suicide. Thus, when a family member or health care provider is faced with an individual at risk for suicide, they should make sure that firearms are removed from the home.

Why do men commit suicide more often than women do?

According to research, more than four times as many men as women die by suicide; but women attempt suicide more often during their lives than do men, and women report higher rates of depression.

Is it possible to predict suicide?

At the current time, there is no definitive measure to predict suicide or suicidal behavior. Researchers have identified factors that place individuals at higher risk for suicide, but very few persons with these risk factors will actually commit suicide.

Risk factors include mental illness, substance abuse, previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide, history of being sexually abused, and impulsive or aggressive tendencies.

Suicide is a relatively rare event and it is therefore difficult to predict which persons with these risk factors will ultimately commit suicide. However as previously stated due to the increase of this act within our country we cannot take anything for granted, while its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is simple: reduce factors that increase risk.

• Should you need more information on Suicide or if you have information pertaining to any crime, please do not hesitate to contact the police at ‘919’ or Crime Stoppers at 328-tips (New Providence), 1-300-8476 (Family Island or If you know of Individuals who may be in need of counseling and emotional support please contact the Department of Social Services hotline number at 322-2763 or The Crisis Center 328-0922 or 322-4999.

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