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Suicide Awareness: How You Can Help Others on October and Beyond

The past month of September has been declared Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month to bring attention to this important issue and help us understand the risk factors and warning signs in order to prevent suicides. 

Where can I find assistance in Puerto Rico?

In Puerto Rico you may contact the Línea PAS at (1-800-981-0023) or text through a live chat on the website: Click Here. Línea PAS is a 24 hour hotline for any assistance needed if suffering from depression or having any form of suicidal thoughts. You may also contact them if you need someone to talk to during times of distress. The line is confidential and the staff are experts that are very friendly and understanding. 

In the United States you can also contact other hotlines, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). 

What are common suicide warning signs? 

The Cleveland clinic identifies various signs that a person may be contemplating suicide: 

  • Being sad or moody for long lasting periods, which is a sign of depression, a major risk factor for suicide. 
  • Showing signs of dangerous self-harm, such as the use of drugs or alcohol. 
  • Withdrawing from friends and other social activities. 
  • Making preparations for a suicide, such as giving away belongings and cleaning their room as if they where moving away. 
  •  Threatening suicide or talking about wanting to end one’s life.

How do I help others that are struggling?  

This first step to help anyone you believe is struggling is to open up a conversation with them. Even though we are not trained professionals, we can be good listeners. If a person does not wish to open up, we should not pressure them, but instead demonstrate that we are there for them and are ready to hear them out when they feel comfortable. If and when a person opens up, listen to their problems. Your role should be to provide comfort and help the person get assistance if necessary. 

Where can I find help for gender based violence? 

Gender based violence can be a factor for many cases of suicidal thoughts or depression. For any help with gender based violence, the UPRM campus has SIEMPRE VIVAS, a feminist organization that offers various support groups for women and girls who suffer from gender based violence. For emergencies you can contact the project director at 787-390-3371 or contact their  offices at 787-832-4040 extension 6203, 6204 or 6205. You may also follow them for updates on Facebook

UPRM graduate student (2017-2022) majoring in political science with a minor in international relations.
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