If you or someone you know is in imminent danger of suicide take them to a hospital or call emergency services on 119.  If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, contact the following list of mental health hospitals which are available to provide crisis support.

  1. RSJ Amino Gondohutomo Semarang: (024) 6722565
  2. RSJ Marzoeki Mahdi Bogor: (0251) 8324024, 8324025, 8320467
  3. RSJ Soeharto Heerdjan Jakarta: (021) 5682841
  4. RSJ Prof Dr Soerojo Magelang: (0293) 363601
  5. RSJ Radjiman Wediodiningrat Malang: (0341) 423444

Understanding suicide 

Suicide occurs when a person deliberately ends their life. It is complex, and can vary in terms of severity and nature.

People with a history of mental illnesses like depression are likely to experience suicidal ideation.

Suicide ideation refers to the thoughts someone is having about ending their life. They can vary from fleeting thoughts (e.g. life is not worth living) to very concrete thoughts including well thought out plans for killing themselves. 

Suicide Facts 

  • Close to 800,000 lives are lost each year, which is one person every 40 seconds (WHO Organisation)
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-29 (WHO Organisation) 
  • A person that has had the initial attempt of suicide has a higher likelihood of attempting again (WHO Organisation) 
  • The data on suicide is poor and is often underreported by 20-30% (ConNetica)

Suicide Myths

Listed below are a few examples of myths surrounding suicide:

  • Asking if someone is suicidal will put the idea in their own mind 
  • Someone who has attempted suicide will not try again
  • Suicide is not preventable 
  • Someone who claims to be suicidal is just being attention seeking

Risk Factors for Suicide

Risk factors can include:

  • Poor mental state e.g. depression, psychosis, hopelessness, despair, guilt, shame, anger, agitation, impulsivity
  • Issues at home e.g. family conflict, homelessness
  • Health issues e.g. chronic illness, deterioration in mobility
  • Education/Employment stress e.g. poor performance, underachievement, stress, long-term unemployment, unemployment from retrenchment
  • Poor connection with their community
  • Substance use e.g. being intoxicated, dependent, or abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Poor social support
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor coping skills
  • Disconnection from culture

Warning signs: recognising someone may be suicidal 

The warning signs that someone is feeling suicidal can be very subtle, it can be hard to tell if someone is feeling suicidal. Signs can be attempts to communicate with others or can be behaviours caused by someone’s emotional state. These indicators can signal that someone might be thinking about suicide.

You may start to notice the following signs if someone is preparing to end their life:

  • Giving away their possessions
  • Sudden happiness or detachment from emotions
  • Poor outlook of the future
  • Talking or writing about suicide or death
  • Being moody, withdrawn, or sad
  • Saying goodbye
  • Losing interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Taking less care in their appearance
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Increase in drug or alcohol use

To read more about Recognising someone may be suicidal, click here.

Talking about suicide

It can be hard to start a conversation about suicide either because you are scared you will make the situation worse, or give someone the idea of ending their life. Research has shown that open conversations about suicide actually decrease the risk of someone ending their life.

By talking to a person about suicide and getting more information, you can assist them in getting the support they need.

Do not forget to prepare for the conversation in advance, listen without judgement, ask questions about plans, and other risk factors directly, and look after yourself.

If you are worried that your family or friend may end their life, it is important to ask direct questions. Direct questions may include:

  1. “Have you thought about ending your life?”
  2. “Have you got a plan on how you will end your life?”
  3. “Do you have access to the tools you need to end your life?”
  4. “Have you ever tried to end your life before”

If somebody reports that have access to means and also have intent, it is important to try to remove the implement (e.g. locking away knives, tablets, or ropes). 

To read more about talking about suicide, click here.

Suicide and Grief

When a suicide occurs, the an immediate and traumatic effect can be seen in everybody from family, friends, and the wider community is immediate and can be traumatic. Suicide is often unexpected, and can leave many questions about what to do next.

If you know somebody who died by suicide, you may experience shock, disbelief, confusion and deep sadness. Some people may struggle with guilt or have unanswered questions about why it happened, or what could have been done to stop it. Also, the bad stigma attached to suicide and also impact our grieving response.

It can be helpful to talk to other people within the community to gain support to aid your own bereavement, encourage other people to see a professional to get help, and let people know that it is ‘okay not to be okay’.

To read more about losing someone to suicide, click here.

To read more about how to help someone who lost a loved one to suicide, click here.

Finding your way back: After a suicide attempt

After a suicide attempt, you may feel lost, confused, and have a mix of overwhelming emotions. This is normal, as you have just been through an incredibly difficult ordeal, and piecing your life back together may be hard. It is important to remember that there is always support available from people who care, and despite the hopelessness and discouragement that you may be feeling, you can and will recover with time. Many people who have attempted suicide describe their attempt as a turning point that enabled them to get back on track and take steps to change their life for the better.

Here are three steps that you can take to help find your way back:

  • Practicing self-care
  • Assembling your support network
  • Creating a safety plan

To read more about Finding your way back: After a suicide attempt, click here.