Many of us have had to deal with suicidal thoughts at some point in our life. Feeling suicidal is not a character defect, it doesn't mean that you are crazy, or weak, or flawed. It only means that sometimes we have much more pain than we can cope with that at times it seems unpleasantly overwhelming or permanent. Depression and suicide is ok to talk about. No one has to suffer in silence.
A person with suicidal thoughts may not ask for help. However, that does not mean help is not needed or wanted or unavailable. Many people who die by suicide do not actually wish for death – they only want the pain to go away. Prevention of suicide begins with recognizing the warning signs of suicidal behaviors and taking action or pointing people to getting the necessary help they need.Whether it is you or a friend in need, you can reach out to Sumithrayo who provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, or are suicidal. People faced with an emotional crisis need informal and confidential emotional support. A friend who has the time to listen, who does not advice or criticize, but helps the person to come to terms with the situation and feel confident to cope with it.
Some warning signs
- Talk about suicide, death, having no reason to live.
- Withdraw from friends and activities.
- Have a recent severe loss or threat of a significant loss (like job or relationship).
- Experience drastic changes in behavior.
- Lose interest in hobbies, work, school.
- Take unnecessary risks.
- Lose interest in personal appearance.
- Increase use of drugs/alcohol.
- Be faced with humiliation or failure.
Sumithrayo provides “Suicide prevention and crisis intervention”. In addition to befriending within the centre, Sumithrayo also reaches out to the needy in other ways: by visiting patients in hospitals, befriending school children, providing emotional support for the disabled, befriending private sector employees etc.
Sumithrayo also conducts awareness programs for universities, schools, institutions, commercial establishments and other local communities. If this type of work interests you, you can spare a couple of hours of your time to volunteer to counsel people who are depressed and suicidal. The Befriending Service is provided by approximately 100 unpaid trained volunteers, who dedicate their time to be a ‘friend’ for those in need.
Talking helps! Sumithrayo is open 365 days of the year from 9 AM to 8 PM. You can also visit or write to Sumithrayo at No. 60 B, Horton Place Colombo 7.