Suicide has always been a delicate subject. There are the ethical and religious arguments to deal with the problem, but there are also the individual, personal sides of the act to be considered. The idea that someone wants to kill himself sounds against the desire of living, yet still many people each year end their lives having no desire to press forward. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “suicide is the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.”(Merriam-Webster.com). Suicide is an ageless problem, still they claim it concerns teenagers and the elderly only. Nonetheless, middle-aged Americans commit suicide as well. Suicide reasons are often complex. Rachel Eagen stresses that “The factors that can contribute to suicidal thoughts and feelings are: family problems, sexual confusions, body image issues, and pressure at school” (Eagen, 2010, p.11).
The Internet is full of information concerning the problem of suicide. There are plenty of websites for individuals thinking of suicide, families struggling with the aftermath of it, or suicide prevention. Let us take a closer look at some of the websites and try to analyze them.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org) is focused on people of different age and occupation. Understanding and preventing suicide, coping with suicide and suicide researches, advocacy and public policy as well as news and events are represented by means of articles and photographs. In case of crisis, it is suggested to call to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Another website, “Suicide.org” (www.suicide.org), claims that suicide is never the answer, getting help is the answer. The target audience addressed is suicidal people, individuals who have attempted suicide, or a suicide survivor. It offers suicide prevention, awareness, and support by means of articles, websites’ links, suicide causes and signs, and classification of the suicide age. If one needs to talk about suicidal feelings, it is recommended to call to Suicide Prevention Lines: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Next resource, “Centers of Disease Control and Prevention” (www.cdc.gov), aims at violence prevention in general. Its suicide section is represented by suicide rates, blogs, study links, data and statistics, articles and publications addressed to individuals, families, and communities. The site defines the goals of suicide prevention by means of risk factors reduction and protective factors increase. Telephone numbers offered are the following: 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) or TTY: (888) 232-6348.
“Helpguide.org” knows how to help someone who is suicidal. The site gives suicide preventing tips, explains what the suicide is, and stresses its warning signs by means of articles and tables. Related articles, resources and references are also available. “If you’re thinking about committing suicide, please call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S.!” (Helpguide.org).
“WebMD” (www.webmd.com) as well as “MedicineNet” are the health-care-oriented web resources, which nonetheless have “Suicide and Suicidal Thoughts” sections. Articles consider the suicide to be a medical problem and offer medication treatment of suicidal signs. Still it is highly recommended to call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) in case suicidal thoughts or intentions were observed. Onhealth.com stresses that “The best way to achieve the balance between using psychiatric medication to treat any underlying conditions that may result in suicidal thoughts and the potential side effects of those medications is an ongoing issue in suicide prevention” (Onhealth.com).
“Suicide Awareness Voices of Education” is one more site which deals with suicide itself, its prevention and aftermath. Different articles, web links and press releases help people, who are in the suicidal crisis to overcome depression and its consequences. It is offered to call 1-800-273-8255 if one feels suicidal.
National Institute of Health (www.nimh.nih.gov) and World Health Organization’s (www.who.int) websites in their suicide-devoted sections address to people with suicidal thoughts and their families through different articles and publications, videos, researches and statistical data. The 24/7 number 1-800-273-8255 is referred as well.
And finally, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s (www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org) official website asks to call the Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and get connected with a trained counselor at a crisis center anytime 24/7.
Taking into account all the information mentioned above, it should be stressed that the Internet is full of websites concerning the notion of suicide and suicide prevention. According to Robbins, “suicide occupies the ninth place in terms of cases of death in the overall population.” (Robbins, 1998, p.13). In case someone is strongly depressed, or has pessimistic or suicidal thoughts and intentions, people throughout the Internet are eager to help you. Please do request assistance with no hesitation.
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