There are some signs that you should pay attention to, for example if the urge to cry is frequent and you feel hopeless, with a variable mood, negativism, desire to die, loss of interest in things you have always enjoyed, changes in the sleep or appetite, you need to make an appointment with a health professional. Credit: Stormseeker/Unsplash
According to the Pan American Health Organization, each year more than 700,000 people lose their lives due to suicide, and the majority of deaths, around 77%, occur in low- and middle-income countries. For this reason, it is important to listen, accompany and not ignore the alarm signals of people who may think about suicide.
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According to the High Cost Account, as of June 2022 in Colombia it was estimated that about 1,748,586 people suffered from this disease
In Colombia, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the suicide mortality rate has increased from 5.1 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2005 to 5.28 in 2020.
In September 2022, the Vice Minister of Public Health and Provision of Services, Jaime Urrego, commented that the suicidal behavior experienced in the country is related to issues such as the weakening of social support networks, school violence or family dysfunction, among others.
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“Suicidal behavior is a serious mental health outcome related to the weakening of social support networks, social and economic gaps, acculturation, school violence, family dysfunction, low self-esteem, depression, and alcohol consumption,” Urrego said. .
According to figures from the National Administrative Department of Statistics DANE, in 2021 there were 2,962 suicides in Colombia, and to that figure, Vice Minister Urrego added a worrying fact, “for every suicide in women, there are around four in men.”
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Faced with the worrying figures, Urrego assured that the issue of mental health should be a matter of the State and of the citizenry, for which reason comprehensive and continuous care should be strengthened in the face of suicidal behavior.
“During the last decade, advances in mental health have been significant in the country, with the issuance of the mental health policy and the National Strategy for the Prevention of Suicidal Behavior; However, transforming the collective suffering of individuals, families, and communities poses particular public policy challenges for our country,” said the vice minister.
To deal with possible suicidal behavior, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection through the campaign #HablemosDeSaludMental shared some recommendations to take into account:
• It’s okay to look to other people for support.
• There are different sources you can turn to for help, such as close family members, friends, teachers or trusted adults, spiritual leaders, or mental health hotlines.
• On some occasions, problems can lead people to think that life has no meaning or is not worth living, so we must not forget that it is possible to overcome any situation.
• There are some signs you should pay attention to; For example, if the urge to cry is frequent and you feel hopeless, with variable moods, negativism, a desire to die, loss of interest in things you have always enjoyed, disturbances in sleep or appetite, it is necessary that you request an appointment with a health professional.
• Presence of self-harm thoughts or plans in the last month or self-harm act in the last year.
• Serious emotional disturbances.
• Agitation or extreme violence.
• Uncommunicative behavior.
• Social isolation.
In Colombia there are free hotlines for people who want to seek help for suicidal behavior:
• Bogotá: District Psychoactive Line: Free telephone line: 018000 112 439. WhatsApp line: 301 2761197. Skype: @linea.psicoactiva Psychoactive mailbox: email@example.com.
LINE 106 “The power to be heard”. WhatsApp chat: 3007548933. You can also communicate by dialing the number 106 for free from any cell phone or landline.
• Barranquilla: Life Line: 3399999 – 3153002003. ALBA Line 195.
• Medellín: Friend Line: 4444448.
• Cali: Department line 106.
• Nariño: Reception of calls and messages to WhatsApp through the number 3178054329.
You can consult the complete list of service lines by cities Here.