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World Suicide Prevention Day
10th September 2022 - World Suicide Prevention Day
Suicide and mental health are often seen as taboo topics and something that people are often scared to talk about. This stigma around mental health and suicide needs to end. According to the Office for National Statistics, 4912 suicides were registered in England in 2020. In the same year in England, the overall suicide rate was 10.0 per 100,000, compared to the rate of 10.8 per 100,000 in 2019 and males aged 45-49 continue to have the highest suicide rate, which in 2020 was recorded as 23.8 per 100,000.
World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was established in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in collaboration with the World Health Organisation. It takes place on the 10th of September every year with the focus being on reducing the stigma and raising awareness amongst various organisations, government and the public, that suicide is preventable.
The triennial theme for WSPD from 2021-2023 is “creating hope through action”, with an aim to inspire all of us and to remind us that there is an alternative to suicide. By creating hope through action, we can help indicate to people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and support out there. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing suicidal thoughts, or those suffering from the side effects of suicide whether that’s as a member of society, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a person with their own experience. By raising awareness, educating and encouraging others to reach out to people who they think are struggling, we can give people the confidence to take action.
Just being there for someone to talk to and showing them that you care can help prevent suicide. Here are some of the Samaritans’ tips on how to open up a conversation with someone you’re worried about:
- Choose a good time, and somewhere without distractions
- Use open questions that require more than a simple ‘yes/no’ answer
- ‘How are things, I’ve noticed that you don’t seem quite yourself?’
- Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’
- Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong, or what they should do
It’s normal to worry about how to approach asking someone if they’re feeling suicidal, but it could save someone’s life. You could ask:
- Have you thought about ending your life?
- Are 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’re in or the way you feel to stop?
Rory O’Connor, a Professor of Health Psychology at Glasgow University had said that “evidence shows asking someone if they’re suicidal can protect them. They feel listened to, and hopefully less trapped. Their feelings are validated, and they know that somebody cares about them. Reaching out can save a life.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact the Samaritans 24/7 for free on 116 123 (UK and ROI) or reach out to other sources for support, like those listed on the NHS’s webpage below:
At Johnson Astills we have designated staff who are there to help with any mental health issues and that employees can turn to if they feel they need someone to talk to or they feel they need some help. You can contact our offices on either 0116 2554855 or 01509 610312.