Day 297

A few days ago my son’s best friend came over for lunch and once again we exchanged our observations of him over the year before he passed away. It showed up more missing pieces of the puzzle. At the end of the discussion we felt like all of us had separately watched different bits of the same film. Each of us had little snatches of information from here and there but none of us saw all the events in their totality. We should have really share all that information at the time. Sadly we didn’t.

Even the letter from the psychiatrist said – “No history of self harm.” Not true. So, us two were not the only ones missing out on relevant information. He managed to hide it from them but if they had asked me they would have known the key facts. Sadly they didn’t.

It makes more sense now after going back and joining up the dots. It pains me deeply and reaffirms my belief that suicide is preventable if each one of us knows about the warning signs and actively watches out for them.  It should help tremendously if, once the warning signs are identified, we know how to keep the person at risk safe and where to get help.

A dear friend shared an easy way to remember the warning signs. A mnemonic: IS PATH WARM?

          I       Ideation (suicidal ideas)
         S       Substance Abuse

         P       Purposelessness
         A       Anxiety
         T       Trapped
         H      Hopelessness

         W     Withdrawal
         A       Anger
         R      Recklessness
         M      Mood Changes

Let us prioritise the well-being of all of us over everything else. Sometimes when it’s late, it’s too late.

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