Suicide is the leading cause of death for Cameroonians aged between 15 and 44, about 60 Cameroonians attempt suicide every day and of those, on average, eight will die.

LouChat is working on reducing the tragic suicide toll by informing people at risk of suicide or who have attempted to take their life with support options, and providing practical advice for people worried about someone they think might be suicidal on how to help.  

What are the warning signs?

Sometimes, when someone is having a hard time, they may consider harming themselves or taking their own life.

Suicidal behaviour indicates deep unhappiness, not necessarily a mental health issue. Many people living with mental health issues aren’t suicidal, and not all people who take their own lives have a mental health issue.

When someone talks about harming themselves or suicide, they’re usually saying ‘I’m not coping right now’ or ‘I need some help’. They may harm themselves because they want to stop or release some of the unbearable pain they’re experiencing.

Things to look out for

Someone who is thinking about suicide will usually give some clues or signs to people around them, even though these might be subtle. Suicide prevention starts with recognising the warning signs and taking them seriously.

Warning signs might include:

  • A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future.
  • Isolation or feeling alone – “No one understands me”.
  • Aggressiveness and irritability – “Leave me alone”.
  • Possessing lethal means – medication, weapons.
  • Negative view of self – “I’m worthless”.
  • Drastic changes in mood and behaviour.
  • Frequently talking about death – “If I died would you miss me?”.
  • Self-harming behaviours like cutting.
  • Risk-taking behaviours – “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die”.
  • Making funeral arrangements.
  • Giving things away (clothes, expensive gifts) – “When I’m gone, I want you to have this”.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Feeling like a burden to others – “You’d be better off without me”.
  • Talking about suicide – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”.

We know it’s hard — maybe the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but talking to someone about suicide could be one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have.

If you’re worried about someone, simply letting them know you care can make a huge difference.