BEING able to identify the warning signs of a suicide attempt by an individual is vital for any member of society.
The comment by Empower Pacific Child Protection specialist and clinical advisor Sarah Young follows an incident in Lautoka in which a person decided to take his life.
"From experience and lots of research, we know that there are a lot of warning signs that someone may be at risk of attempting suicide. These often go unnoticed. By being aware as to the signs of suicide, ordinary, everyday individuals can perhaps save a life," she said.
"While these signs can help alert you that there may be a problem, it doesn't always mean that someone is suicidal.
"These signs include talking about death or suicide, drawing or painting pictures about death or suicide, self-harming behaviour like cutting themselves, not enjoying things that they used to always enjoy, feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless, losing or putting on lots of weight in a short time or using drugs or alcohol,"
Ms Young said there were no definite causes for suicide but there were a number of factors which could increase the probability of people ending their lives.
"Understanding what factors may increase the risk of suicide can be really useful, especially if you or someone that you know may be having suicidal thoughts.
"It's important to remember that many people experience these factors and never feel suicidal though. Some things that are linked with greater risk of suicide include having a mental health issue like depression or schizophrenia, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, feelings of distress or irritability or intense sadness, a previous suicide attempt, family history of depression, family history of suicide or suicidal behaviour or physical, emotional or sexual abuse"
Ms Young said suicide was preventable and help was always available.
"Suicidal thoughts are just that, suicidal thoughts. While they can be difficult to manage they do not need to be acted on.
"Suicidal thoughts can happen for a short time and may be triggered by something we don't know how to cope with.
"If you are feeling suicidal, it is often not the best time to be trying to solve your problem.
"Remember, just like every other part of your body, your brain will function best when it is rested, when you have been eating properly and generally taking care of yourself."