How to Identify the 'Karyns' in Your Life

Last week, I posted a blog about Karyn Washington, a vibrant 22-year-old that accomplished suicide.

So how do you know if you've potentially got a 'Karyn' in your life? Firstly, it helps if you've known the person for longer than 6 months and see them often enough to observe them. Observe, don't pry! However, if someone plainly communicates to you a desire to harm/kill themselves, do not waste time to observe them! Call for help immediately! Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Please note that any change you see needs to occur almost daily over a minimum of a 2-week period.

1. Glaring change in appearance. Rapid weight gain/loss, wardrobe, hair, skin tone/color, facial expressions, energy levels, etc. Something looks "off".

2. Glaring change in attendance. Are they suddenly late or absent when they are usually on time? Are they suddenly everywhere when they normally stay home? Are they going places they typically wouldn't go? Are they no longer going to places they love?

3. Glaring change in affections (emotions). This is probably one of the simplest indicators that something is affecting the individual. However, remember that these behaviors need to be observed over time. If it's a coworker, keep in mind that there may be something or someone at work that triggers the shift in their mood. It may or may not be a sign of depression. Although it's a simple indicator of emotions, it's not so simple to assess depression.

Cinnamon Key, MSW

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