Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide prevention day happens annually on the 10th of September. What is the need for such a day? In 2019 England and Wales reported alarming statistics with regards to the number of suicides in the U.K. There was an increase of 321 more deaths by suicide, meaning a total of 5691 deaths were recorded. That’s 5691 lives ended for reasons and stories we may never know or understand, and their loved ones may question forever. Many factors may lead to such drastic and devastating measures, and at the time this route may have seemed like the only route, and not an option. Suicide prevention day aims to create awareness of how we can cultivate an environment whereby fewer lives are lost by suicide.

So now we know why this day is needed, the next step is to see what actions we can take as individuals to prevent suicides. It could be argued that the most effective action to take would be to cultivate an environment that focuses on prevention of suicidal thoughts behaviours and action. Stigmas still surround mental health issues, and these stigmas can lead to discrimination, leaving the person experiencing suicidal thoughts sometimes feeling ashamed and misunderstood. The biggest step we can take to reduce deaths by suicide is to break these stigmas down and create an environment where people experiencing suicidal thoughts do not feel ashamed or judged, and instead feel compassion and empathy. This will then allow for crucial conversations that may prevent suicidal behaviours and actions.

The Mental Health Foundation have created the WAIT suicide prevention advice. This outlines some more steps you can take if you suspect somebody may be feeling suicidal or self-harming:

Watchout for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour.

Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”

It will pass – Assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time.

Talk to others – Encourage your loved ones to seek help from a GP or health professional.

If you are feeling suicidal or know someone who may be suicidal you can reach out to the following organisations who are here to help you:

Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/

Campaign Against Living Miserably CALM –https://www.thecalmzone.net/

Papyrus: https://www.papyrus-uk.org/hopelineuk/

Childline: https://www.childline.org.uk/

Silence of Suicide: https://sossilenceofsuicide.org/what-where-why/

Also check out our resources page which signposts resources for managing your mental health:

Remember you can recover from suicidal thoughts, and these thoughts are only temporary. Suicide is preventable.

https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/world-suicide-prevention-day/

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2019registrations

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/suicide-prevention-how-you-can-make-difference

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