Can Random Acts of Kindness Prevent Suicide?

Jan 2013

According to a recent article, some anti-suicide crusaders are trying a novel approach to help prevent suicide deaths. The effort, which takes place in Boston, is called “Happier Boston.” It involves a widespread campaign to cut down on suicide deaths by cheering people up and encouraging people to share their feelings.

Our Dallas suicide attorneys are always in support of every effort to help reduce the number of suicide victims and save people’s lives. While it will be impossible to measure the success of the Happier Boston campaign, such efforts cannot hurt the cause and may encourage more people to open up about the sadness or depression they are experiencing.

The Anti-Suicide Campaign of Kindness

Those in Boston engaged in the anti-suicide campaign are trying a number of tactics including:

  • Organizing flash mobs to greet commuters
  • Engaging in random acts of kindness
  • Performing “blues” songs about common problems
  • Encouraging people to record their own blues song on an interactive website.
  • Hosting dance parties for people ages 18 and over

The local Mayor supports these efforts as a way to bring attention to mental health concerns and to hopefully provide some cheer to those who are depressed.

Fighting Suicide One Step at a Time

Unfortunately, suicide in many cases occurs as a result of major psychiatric illnesses such as severe depression, anxiety or chemical imbalances in the brain. These chemical imbalances can cause a person to believe they have unsolvable problems.  A dance party or a random act of kindness is unlikely to deter someone who is strongly considering suicide. Still, these efforts might make the difference in encouraging someone to get help from a counselor or mental health provider whose job it is to recognize signs of suicide, to treat the patient and to take action if someone is considering suicide.  If a person struggling with suicide sees a glimmer of hope or sees that someone is reaching out, this can be a turning point that encourages going to a counselor for advice. Getting counseling and proper mental health assistance is the best way to curb suicidal thinking, as long as the counselors do their jobs and are able to recognize that a patient is in need.

Further, by drawing attention to the problem of suicide, more people may be reminded by the Happy Boston campaign that there are others out there who are struggling too, and that they aren’t alone. These individuals, who see people trying to help, may be more inclined to seek out help, especially if they realize that with more people talking openly about suicide, their suicidal thoughts aren’t as stigmatized. Further, if there are people who are suffering from depression that is not severe, the efforts of the anti-suicide crusaders may be effective at helping them to improve their outlook on life or at least in taking the first steps to feel better.

In any case, the bottom line is that the viability of stopping suicides by random acts of kindness is far from a proven science, but the efforts cannot possibly hurt and can only help the cause of fighting suicide.

If you lost a loved  one to suicide, contact the Dallas Law Offices of Skip Simpson.  Call  214-618-822.

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