Suicide affects people everywhere, regardless of wealth, privilege, or education. This National Suicide Prevention Month find out how you can help save lives as Insiders, a Farsi-language program on SAT-7, explores this deeply emotional topic.
Across the world, around 800,000 people take their own lives every year. Although official statistics show suicide among Iranians to be relatively low, the accuracy of the data is uncertain. First-hand accounts from Iranians on the ground suggest significantly higher figures.
SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE
“The first time I attempted suicide I was 14 years old,” recounts Sarina, a courageous young woman who shared her story on the live Insiders program. Events that led to her experience of hopelessness and depression included a family broken by divorce, an absent father, loneliness, and a lack of love and attention.
“The second time [I attempted suicide] I was young, with two children, in a marriage that I had not wanted. I was seeking release from the situation in which I found myself. Of course, I was unsuccessful, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” she says while smiling.
HOW TO HELP
There is a common perception among Iranians that if someone talks about suicide, it is only talk with no intention behind the words. However, the reverse is true and speaking out is an indicator of real intent.
Insiders encourages viewers to be alert to those around them, to listen and pay genuine attention. When asking someone how they are feeling, do not be satisfied with the expected ‘Fine, thanks.’ There are ways to help those who are depressed and help prevent suicide:
- Look for signs of suicidal thoughts such as withdrawing from others, talk of being a burden, talk of feeling trapped, signs or talk of self-harm
- Tell them you value them and they’re good to have around
- Tell them God made them in his perfect image for a purpose and he loves them no matter who they are, what they have done, or what they think they have done
- Tell them you love them and they have worth
- Show kindness and empathy for their struggles
- Believe them when they say they are depressed
Sarina advises those who are depressed to resist suicidal thoughts and seek healing in Christ, using her own powerful journey of faith. She says: “Forgive those who harmed you, or made you feel unloved or worthless. Forgive, because the act of forgiveness is the greatest prescription for the world.”
Grateful for having come through that period of her life, she says: “I thank God that He saved me from my predicament, and I am here today able to give this message that you are valuable and loved.”
Together, we are bringing hope to the oppressed, strengthening families caught in difficult situations, and bringing fellowship to the isolated. SAT-7 makes the Gospel available to potentially half a billion people in the Middle East and North Africa. Learn more here.
 World Population Review places Iran 154th on suicide rates by country: http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/suicide-rate-by-country/
 Suicide in Iran: The Facts and the Figures from Nationwide Reports: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5425355/
 Name changed for privacy.
 Suicide among men and women: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/21/suicide-gender-men-women-mental-health-nick-clegg