World Suicide Prevention Day
Tuesday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. This aims to raise awareness and educate people on what we can all do to help prevent suicide.
Did you know one in four people experience mental health problems in any one year? Often, it’s easier to recognise someone’s physical well being than their emotional well being, and generally people find it easier to have conversations about physical health. But we shouldn’t shy away from talking to people about their mental health, and it could even save a life.
In 2018 there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, a significant increase from the previous year. Three quarters of these deaths were men, and the North East had the highest suicide rate among men, with both the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber having a statistically higher suicide rate for males compared to the overall rate for males in England. The suicide rate among young women under the age of 24 has increased to its highest recorded level since 1981.
Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year worldwide who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.
This is a commitment to reduce suicides by 10% nationally by 2020/21. Everyone can play a part in achieving this by breaking the taboo of talking about suicide with friends, colleagues and loved ones.
There are so many great support services available to help people deal with mental health problems, when they are feeling down, depressed or anxious. The Zero Suicide Alliance also offers free online suicide prevention training for the general public which takes only 20 minutes to complete and could help you save a life.
Help and advice
If you are experiencing suicidal feelings, please talk to someone. Make sure you talk about it and if you recognise signs in other people, encourage them to seek help from their GP or they can call the Samaritans on 116 123.