How can I stop thinking about suicide?

World Suicide Prevention Day - "We have to stop thinking there is nothing we can do about it"

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September 10th is all about suicide prevention, because suicide is a taboo subject. Together with Thomas Brunner from Pro Juventute we want to break this taboo and talked to him about reasons for suicide, signs of suicidal thoughts and help for those affected.

Author: Text: Kim Schärer | Interview: Robin Rehmann

Every ten minutes someone tries to kill himself in Switzerland. A young person commits suicide every three days. That is a relatively high cadence. "I think that has to do with the relationships we live with ourselves," explains Thomas Brunner, Head of Advice & Support at Pro Juventute, the link will open in a new window.

Many teenagers with suicidal thoughts report feeling lonely.
Author: Thomas BrunnerDepartment Manager Advice & Support Pro Juventute

"In Pakistan, for example, the suicide rate among young people is much lower, even though they live there in much more difficult circumstances than in Switzerland." That has to do with the fact that there are much more intensive, longer and more established interpersonal relationships there. “It's not the way things are lived in Switzerland,” observes Brunner. It is therefore no wonder that many young people with suicidal thoughts indicate that they feel lonely at the Pro Juventute emergency number, link opens in a new window 147, link opens in a new window.

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However, one cannot define loneliness as the main reason for suicidal thoughts: "With young people up to 25 it is often an accumulation of several external circumstances for which no solution can be found," says Brunner. "We also know that those affected do not actually want to die, that is, they have no wish to die." They often see suicide as the only way to escape the stress.

There is no primary cause for suicidal ideation, nor is any type of person particularly susceptible to it. “It is certain that those who cannot admit that people can be faulty and therefore put themselves under enormous pressure tend to be at risk,” explains Thomas Brunner. But you can never generalize. And neither should one.

We have to stop thinking that there is nothing that can be done about suicide
Author: Thomas BrunnerDepartment Manager Advice & Support Pro Juventute

However, if you feel that one of your friends is not doing well and you suspect that he / she may have thoughts of suicide, there are a few things you can do because: “We have to stop thinking there is nothing you can do about suicide. "

Talk about it

If you look at how many people have suicidal thoughts and how many ultimately carry out a final act, there is a discrepancy: "You can do something about it," warns Thomas Brunner. It is also nonsense that someone only comes up with the idea of ​​committing suicide when asked for thoughts on it.

And talking can save. This is not just the name of the suicide prevention campaign currently running by the Canton of Zurich and the SBB, but something that, according to Brunner, really is: “We often explain youth suicidality as a kind of communication disorder; so not be in contact with his immediate environment. "

Watch out for signs

From a statistical point of view, men and women deal with suicidal thoughts differently, explains Thomas Brunner: “Young men tend to be louder and more risky. Women, on the other hand, isolate themselves. "Of course you can't generalize that. And not everyone who plays with the idea of ​​suicide changes:“ If people in an inexplicable way and, above all, suddenly behave differently socially or use symbols that indicate death, this could be a reference to But it doesn't have to be suicidality. "

Be there

Those affected often have a kind of tunnel vision and therefore only see the crisis ahead of them. "You have to signal to the suicidal person that they don't have to go through this difficult time alone," says Brunner. And he goes on to explain: "It is important to be able to give those affected a feeling of stability until the peak of the psychological stress is overcome." For you this means: listen, talk to your friend and get help if the person concerned allows it.

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