It’s arrived: January 18th is known as Blue Monday.
The miserable mid-month date is associated with failed New Year’s resolutions and cold, damp weather with little sunlight, but this year Pieta is reminding the public that this single day should not be marked as a cause or side effect of depression.
The fact is, depression and suicidal ideation runs much deeper and for many, any day could be considered ‘Blue Monday’. Pieta’s new ‘Know the Signs of Suicide’ campaign aims to help people identify what signs to watch and listen out for.
Calls and texts to the charity’s helpline directly relating to suicide, self-harm and suicide bereavement rose by 25% in December 2020 and Pieta is expecting the pandemic burden to continue into 2021.
“We are calling on the public to look beyond ‘Blue Monday’ and familiarise themselves with the life-saving steps to recognise suicidal ideation,” said Emma Dolan, Clinical Director at Pieta
“Any day of the year can be a challenge for people living with mental health issues so please use this day to think about how you can break down the stigma and raise awareness of these preventative measures.
Know the signs
Knowing the signs allows you to then follow three simple steps, A.P.R. (Ask – Persuade – Refer) – and just like CPR, it can save a life.
“Most people who talk or think about suicide simply want to stop the pain they feel, so knowing what signs to listen and watch out for is crucial,” says Pieta.
Signs to listen for:
- Engaging in self-harm or risk-taking behaviour
- Talking or writing about hurting themselves, dying or saying that they want to die
- Talking about ways to die or having a suicide plan
- Saying that they are ‘trapped’ or have no options in their life
- Saying they have no purpose in their life, that they feel hopeless
Signs to watch out for:
- Giving items away or saying goodbye to people
- Becoming more inward-looking and withdrawing from family and friends
- Changes in sleep patterns – too much or too little sleep
- Extreme emotions or dramatic changes in mood
- Increasing use of drugs or alcohol.
To avail of Pieta services, which are free of charge, visit pieta.ie for all centre contact details. Pieta provides 24/7 support – if you are suicidal, self-harming or bereaved you can contact Pieta 24/7 via the Freephone crisis helpline on 1800 247 247, you can also text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply).