World Suicide Prevention Day
Today, 10th September, is World Suicide Prevention Day. Each suicide affects more than just the person who could find no other way to end the pain. The ripple effect through family, friends, colleagues and the wider community is huge, as they struggle to understand and make sense of their loss. Yet suicide is preventable!
For many people this is a taboo subject which, as with other mental health issues, can evoke feelings of fear and misunderstanding. This in turn fuels the stigma and discrimination which often prevents people from asking for help when they need it.
There is a myth that if you ask a person whether they are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you will encourage that person to end their life. In fact the opposite is true. Asking someone directly about their suicidal feelings will often lower their anxiety and act as a deterrent.
The Department of Transport states that there were 1,782 road deaths in the UK in 2018. In that same year, the Office for National Statistics states that there were 6,507 deaths registered as suicide. If this comparison surprises you, you’re not the only one. We are aware that a lot of money is invested in preventing road deaths, but perhaps more could be spent on preventing suicides?
This pandemic has had a huge impact on our way of life and our hopes and dreams for the future. By becoming a Mental Health First Aider, you can learn to confidently approach someone you’re concerned about, to ask that difficult question and to listen to their story without judgement. Remember, by talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings you can, quite literally, save a life.
If you find yourself in that darkest of places, please reach out and ask for help. You can contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 116 123.
If you would like to learn more, and become a Mental Health First Aider, please head over to my website at blueshadow.co.uk, or pm me and we can arrange to have a chat.
Take care and be safe.