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People In Malta Are Split On Whether They Know The Warning Signs Of Suicide Or Not

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Trigger warning: this article features a discussion on suicide

When it comes to the signs of someone suicidal, people are split in half on whether they know how to recognise them or not.

This was found in a Lovin Malta survey on suicide, in collaboration with Richmond Foundation. It was conducted to to raise awareness on the serious subject that is still shrouded in taboo.

Out of 220 people who took part, 41% said they could tell when someone was suicidal, 46% said they wouldn’t be able to. Others refused to answer the question.

In the survey, women made up the close majority of respondents, totalling 56%. Men made up 42% while 1.4% identified themselves as non-binary.

The most common age was between 26-35 (33%), followed by 36-45 year olds at 25%. Those 46 upward totalled 30%, while young people between 16 and 25 made up the remaining 10%.

The majority (130) said that most people who take their own lives usually show some signs beforehand.

And while this study can hardly give an accurate representation of knowledge of signs of suicide in Malta, it can mean that more awareness is needed for people to recognise them.

While signs are not always clear cut, according to mental health experts at Richmond Foundation these are some signs that someone might need immediate help:

  • Talk, write or draw about death or dying
  •  Talking about feeling hopeless and/or trapped
  •  Talking about feeling like a burden to others
  •  Belief that others will be better off if they die
  •  Making preparations, such as arranging pet care or giving away dear belongings
  • Asking for forgiveness or saying goodbye

Lastly, if the person seems to have gotten better very suddenly, this could be a sign that they have decided to end their life.

Mental health is a serious issue in Malta, and while the state of mental health policies is far from ideal, there learning to recognise these signs could help save a life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please know you are not alone. Please reach out for help from professionals and loved ones.

Persons who are in crisis can approach the Accident and Emergency department at Mater Dei Hospital or Primary Health Department and seek help from Mental Health Service professionals.

People passing through difficult moments and contemplating Suicide, as well as survivors of these tragic events, can seek help from available services: Suicide Prevention, Outreach and Therapeutic (SPOT) services by appointment on 2122 8333 (Victim Support Malta), Supportline 179 (FSWS) and 1770 (Richmond Foundation).

Anonymous chats such as kellimni.com, Olli chat or Krizi are also an option. One can contact the family doctor or health centre or by speaking to a person of trust.

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READ NEXT: ‘Maltese Avoid Talking About It’: 42% Of Gen Z Diagnosed With A Mental Health Issue

Sam is a journalist and artist based between Valletta and Berlin. Send her pictures of hands or cool, need-to-know stories on [email protected]

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