Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September
World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on 10 September every year. It provides an opportunity for people all over the world to take part in raising awareness about suicide and how it can be prevented.
The first suicide prevention day was held in 2003 with the purpose of helping to start the conversation on Suicide, and to help everyone around the world understand that suicides are preventable.
This year’s theme for Suicide Prevention is “Creating Hope Through Action”. At Saunders Law, we are supporting the cause by posting about suicide prevention, and raising awareness of how and where to get help.
The purpose of Suicide Prevention day, is to spread awareness about suicides, and to reduce the negative stigma associated with suicide and poor mental health, how to prevent it, and to look at the lasting effect it can have on those left behind.
In 2021, there were 5,583 suicides registered in England and Wales, with three quarters of these suicides being males. Men and Women aged 45-49 are said to have the highest suicide rates in England and Wales and in 2019, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds.
If you have someone you are worried about it can be hard to know how to start the conversation, and to understand how to help someone, but listening and showing people you care is a great way to start.
So how can you start a conversation with somebody you are worried about?
- Choose a time with no distractions or interruptions, go out for a coffee or drop in and see them at home;
- Use open questions that require more than a yes/no answer, start a conversation that requires them to engage with you (such as);
- How are things, I’ve noticed you don’t seem quite yourself?’
- Ensure you use language and tones that are going to make them feel comfortable;
- Avoid giving your opinions and views on what you think, remember allow them to explain how they’re feeling;
- Above all – don’t judge.
Remember that the language we use matters, and while being direct can go a long way in helping someone, it is best to avoid saying things like ‘you’re not thinking of doing something stupid are you? Be patient, show you care, the purpose is to get someone to open up to you.
You could ask:
- Have you been thinking about ending your life?
- I am worried, it sounds as though you saying that you want to die?
- Are you thinking of ending your life because you want to be dead, or is it because you want the situation you are in or the way you feel to stop?
The Samaritans website offers guidance and advice on how to support someone who may need help, it is a good place to start if you are worried about a friend, colleague, family member.
There are some general do’s and don’ts to follow:
- Don’t share or repost anything that talks about suicide or self-harm in an unsafe way online
- Don’t mention the method or location of a suicide; there’s evidence that this can lead to further suicides
- Don’t use language that could come across as judgmental. For example, ‘don’t do anything stupid’
- Don’t share or repost anything that talks about suicide or self-harm in an unsafe way online – be responsible!
- Do post sources of support and share stories of hope and recovery
- Do report content you think might be harmful.
If you are struggling yourself and need urgent help call 111, or if you know someone who needs help and you need guidance on how to help them speak to someone on one of the below numbers.
- Samaritans are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk, give them a call on – 116 123 or email [email protected]
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) provide listening services, information and support for anyone who needs a chat either over the phone or via web chat- 0800 585858.
- NHS 111 (UK) Provide medical help and advice for people in England.
- The Mix who provide support and advice for people under 25 via crisis messenger on THEMIX to 85258, 08088084994 for their helpline and a webchat via themorg.uk