Friday 9th September
Every year the Samaritans and various Mental Health groups campaign on 10th September as part of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance to raise awareness of and reduce suicide in England. The Office of National Statistics reported that there were 5,691 suicide deaths in 2019 in England and Wales.
According to the Mental Health charity Mind, 1 in 5 people experience suicide thoughts at some point int their lives. Suicide has a devastating impact on families and loved ones. The World Suicide Prevention campaign highlights actions that can be taken to support those who are struggling with their mental health to help prevent suicide.
There are a range of personal or social factors that can trigger thoughts of suicide, these can include difficulties with mental health, loneliness or isolation, relationship problems, addiction, financial challenge, struggles with housing, challenges with employment, and many other situations which might not be listed here.
There are steps that we can take to protect our loved ones and those around us who may be struggling and who may be at risk of suicide. Below are some tips and ideas for supporting our friends, family, and colleagues.
Many people who are experiencing thoughts about suicide struggle to talk about their feelings. They can find the thoughts distressing, and they may be worried about how other people will perceive them, as a result they bottle things. If you know someone who is going through a difficult time and is struggling with their mental health or any other personal difficulties, consider reaching out to find out how they are, let them know that you are available for them if they need someone to talk to. Encourage them to talk about their feelings.
We can help them by encouraging them to change their focus. We can help them change their focus, by encouraging them to engage in meaningful activities. Meaningful activities can include spending time with loved ones, including family friends. Meaningful activities can also include interest and activities that will give them a sense of enjoyment, examples of activities can include relaxation, going for exercise, playing sports, creative pursuits or even solving puzzles.
If a loved one or someone you know is expressing or voicing thoughts and intention to commit suicide, it is essential to seek help for them.
It can be alarming hearing someone tell us they are thinking of ending their lives and sometimes in that moment of dread we may not know what to do. It’s important to remember that there is help that is available and you’re worried that someone is at immediate risk of taking their own life, make sure you stay with them and get them the help they need. These are the steps you can take if you are concerned:
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