September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP).
Suicide is a serious issue.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Statistics on Suicide
The World Health Organization estimates 3000 people each day die of suicide worldwide.
Estimates 60,000 unsuccessful suicide attempts occur daily.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds.
The world average is 16 in 100,000 die of suicide. On the high end are Eastern European countries formerly the USSR and Japan at rates closer to 30 per 100,000.
I am a suicide survivor and am grateful for each day I wake up. Two of my college friends, my childhood mentor’s son, and numerous family members of friends were not as lucky. These were clues on how I can make a difference.
From my greatest challenge came my greatest gift. What I thought was a curse was really a gift. It taught me lessons and has given me the compassion and credentials to help so people will not have to go through the suffering that I’ve gone through. My mission is to lower the suicide rate and ultimately to end it worldwide as a behavior pattern.
I’d love to share with you some of the lessons and how you can help someone in need. These steps work well with non-suicidal people as well. My intent is to give you some first steps and when they are in a safe place, seek trained professionals. Sometimes there is not enough time for that and these 5 ways can make a difference.
Here are 5 Ways to Help Prevent Suicide:
1) Awareness – Notice when something doesn’t feel right.
Notice if anyone around you have not been in touch or out of communication. We are social beings and most people, including me, make better choices when we are around people than when we are alone.
When people answer “Fine” or “Good” when asked “How are you?”, it rarely means good. People say it either as a protective defense mechanism or are in denial of how they really feel. Most people do not say how they really feel partly because they do not want to dump their stuff on others but doubt people really care enough to do something about it.
Trust your gut or intuition and you never know how just a smile or a kind gesture can turn someone’s day around.
2) Respect Their World – See the world through their eyes.
When you can understand their world and be compassionate, that is when you have the ability to influence.
The moment you judge someone, you lose the ability to influence them. Influence them with what already influences them. The only way to know is to understand what they are going through and how they feel.
To avoid judgment, ask yourself, “Maybe there is something I don’t know?”. We never know what people are going through and this gets us in a state of curiosity to serve.
3) Come From Your Heart and Serve – Motive does matter.
People can sense whether you have pure intentions or an agenda. When you come from your heart and to serve, you can do no wrong.
When your intention is to serve, a power much greater than ourselves comes to our aid for us to be a messenger. Whatever you believe in whether its God, the Universe, Source, Infinite Intelligence, across different ethnic groups and cultures this is a common thread.
4) Share the 3 Core Truths
Truth #1 – You are not alone.
Truth #2 – You are not broken.
Truth #3 – You are loved.
You are unique in your gifts, your genius but not unique in your challenges. You are not alone. Knowing others struggle just like us gives us hope and inspiration. It also allows future mentors to rise up sharing the nuggets of wisdom to be the light in the tunnel of darkness and give others permission to shine their light.
You are not broken. You are born a genius and programmed for failure. It’s not you that is broken, it’s the programming that is broken. Change the programming, change your life. Everything in your life has happened for a reason to guide you, protect you, and strengthen you for you to live your purpose.
You are loved. People who know you and people who don’t even know you love you. Babies cannot survive without love. It is impossible. This is proof that you were loved back then and love never disappears.
5) Create a Compelling Future
Suicidal people believe the future is so painful that living is far worse than the short term pain of killing oneself. Believe that the struggle they are going through is a gift. Embrace the struggle because it is a blessing in disguise. While it may not seem like it, when they overcome this challenge it will be a gift that guides their life. Most great leaders in history had to overcome struggles internal and external.
Many trainers and speakers in the Personal Development industry have overcome suicidal thoughts. A common theme you will now begin to notice is through tragedy comes triumph. Whatever was a struggle for them is now a source of paying it forward by teaching others serving the greater good.
Parents who have a child diagnosed with a disease starts raising awareness and creates foundations in order to find a solution.
An mother who loses a son to a drunk driver raises awareness and creates a campaign for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Mark Victor Hansen’s parents were illiterate and created the Mark Victor Hansen Foundation and Literacy to End Poverty and have sold over 145 Million books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series giving people heart warming stories that touch our soul.
Tony Robbins when he was a kid, his family couldn’t afford to have a traditiional Thanksgiving dinner and was shown generosity by an anonymous gift from a stranger. Now he feeds over a million people worldwide through his International Basket Brigade through the Anthony Robbins Foundation.
Most foundations are started from what is thought of a tragedy at first.
Suicidal people and those who are going through great challenges right now are your future leaders, teachers, and humanitarians. Don’t let them give up 5 minutes before the miracle.
Please share this and spread awareness. If you found it valuable, there is a link below to email your friends and family. Pay it forward you never know who you just might reach.
To Your Genius,
Eiji “A.G.” Morishita serves on the faculty of Teen Success Network and created a curriculum on Teen Depression and Suicide. His mission is to end suicides in the US and in Japan where the rate of suicide is twice as high as any industrialized nation and use that as the model to end it worldwide.
For more info on World Suicide Prevention Day, click here.