10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Over 800,000 people die every year by suicide, that’s one person every 40 seconds. It is the leading cause of death in people under 24 in many European countries*, and in men under 50 in the U.K.
The subject of suicide has long been a taboo, with people often too ashamed to talk about both feeling suicidal and being bereaved this way.
Thankfully, this is changing. The message from World Suicide Prevention Day is that it’s ok to say: to talk about feelings, and to ask for help.
Organisations like the Samaritans exist to help people cope with suicidal feelings. They are available 24 hours a day, to listen to you non-judgementally and in confidence.
Friends and families of those feeling suicidal can also help by checking in with their loved ones regularly, without trying to fix the person talking about their feelings. Many people often feel like a burden when they’re struggling with their mental health, so don’t assume they’ll check in with you.
In all cases, avoid judgement and encourage visits to the doctor and referrals to relevant mental health services. Resources like this one can from Heads Together, can help with tips for talking.
Below is also a list of resources if you or someone you know is struggling:
Samaritans: 116 123 (UK) http://Samaritans.org
Papyrus: (preventing suicide in young people) 0800 068 41 41 https://www.papyrus-uk.org/help-advice
Young Minds: http://youngminds.org.uk
Combat Stress (UK Veterans Mental Health Charity): http://combatstress.org.uk 0800 138 1619
Calm Zone (specifically for men): https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/get-help/
Mind information leaflets on different types of mental health: http://mind.org.uk including ‘Supporting Someone who Feels Suicidal’ https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helping-someone-else/supporting-someone-who-feels-suicidal/#.WbGnHkHTWaM
There are also videos like:
“Be in your mate’s corner” video by Time to Change is here: https://youtu.be/3l8LpDitZvY
“Finding the words to ask for help” video by Mind: https://youtu.be/Dqb-n_L5hIA
* Suicide statistics via WSPD website