This is really interesting. We should spend some time looking at the people who didn’t go through with it, and why.
But some stories about suicide are hopeful: For every person who dies by suicide each year, another 280 people think seriously about suicide but do not kill themselves, according to data from the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Schwartz is one of them. Those near-suicide experiences hold extraordinary power, mental health experts say—and can even save lives.
“Our best answers as to why suicides happen and what we can do to prevent them are not found by focusing on the one person who died by suicide, but by focusing on the living—the other 280 who survived,” Draper says. “Few of them are being asked—and fewer still are talking—about their struggles through suicidal experiences. Not talking about one’s lived experience of coping through suicidality maintains the stigma that is the enemy of hope and healing.”
There’s a story in the article where the person being interviewed mentioned that in that moment they realized the didn’t want to die, they just wanted help. I do believe many people on the verge are in that same boat. They don’t want to die, they just want help and they don’t know how to get it.
In recent years for me, suicidal ideas haven’t been an issue, but anxiety and even panic attacks have been a few times. Always when I’m overwhelmed and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Always when I need someone to just be there and point out step one, and step two, and make it not seem so overwhelming. Getting that help, usually pulls me out of it. Not getting that help lets it just keep spiraling.
I can’t help but imagine that is how someone struggling with much more serious mental health issues ends up at the point of suicide. They just don’t seem to have any help that makes it seem possible to get better. How do we get people the help when they need it?