Suicide Prevention Day 2022
Trigger warning: This article talks about suicide throughout, please read with caution and find helpful resources for yourself or someone you’re worried about below.
10th September is Suicide Prevention day every year. Suicide is one of the biggest killers in under 35s, a huge problem for men suffering from depression, and it’s on the rise in young people - even those in school. But suicide is preventable, when the right support and treatment is available and those in need of it are able to reach out. It’s a topic that we’re a little afraid of, and understandably, one that we might avoid talking about, avoid listening to, or even avoid thinking about. So, keep reading to understand the importance of reaching out and raise awareness for Suicide Prevention Day 2022.
There’s been a rise in conversation around suicide and the importance of reaching out for help and support for those experiencing suicidal ideation and feelings. Suicide itself is not a mental health problem, but linked and often the result of severe mental distress.
In the UK in 2020, 6248 people took their own lives across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There’s no single group of people more affected by suicide, but it has been termed the silent killer among men, and is on the rise amongst school-aged children. So it’s clear that raising awareness is as important as ever, to prevent the statistics from rising.
Suicide is preventable
The feelings that often drive suicide tend to be temporary, but feel far from when you’re experiencing them yourself. It can be terrifying, lonely and dangerous to feel that way. Most people who have thought about suicide don’t want to die, but want to end the life they are currently experiencing. They want things to be different, but the only way they see that happening is by ending their life.
Preventing suicide is about talking honestly about how we are really feeling when things get tough, seeking support from others who can help us through the dark periods, and finding glimmers of hope. It all sounds a bit cliché, but this can be really hard to do, especially when we’re feeling so low, helpless or hopeless.
So maybe it’s up to those of us available to help, to encourage anyone we know to reach out, to signpost them to helpful resources (like the list below), or to offer some glimmers of hope - like laughing over old memories, dancing in the kitchen while cooking dinner, or a simple hug. It won’t ‘fix’ how they’re feeling, but it might remind them that there is some good amongst the difficult.
Remember you are the bridge, not the resource
When those we know, love or care about are struggling with suicidal thoughts or ideations, it can be difficult to support them. It’s an unpleasant thing to go through, and to watch someone we love go through it without being able to do much is challenging for anyone. So it’s key to remember that you are not the resource, the doctor or therapist, the professional care, the helpline. Instead, you are the bridge to those things. You might help find the right professional, arrange and take them to appointments, send them links or numbers to help them. You might even seek support for yourself during this time. So here’s a list of some of the resources available for you to use, remember, and share with others.
Resources for help and support
Samaritans: support for those in crisis or just looking to talk to someone
Helpline: 116 123 available 24/7
SHOUT: crisis text line for immediate help 24/7
Text SHOUT to 85258
Papyrus: prevention of young suicide
Helpline: 0800 068 4141 (9am-12am)
Text: 07860 039967
Mind: resources and signposting for mental health
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm, Mon-Friday)
Local minds: https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/local-minds/ (face to face support across England and Wales)
The Mix: Support and advice for under 25s, including a helpline, crisis messenger service and web chat.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Text: 85258 (crisis messenger service, text THEMIX)
Stay Alive: App with help and resources for those feel suicidal or are supporting another
You can find many more resources available online, via the NHS website, Mind.org.uk and a quick Google search - especially if you’re looking for tailored support for different circumstances, for example, bereavement, LGBTQIA+, young people, men.
This Suicide Prevention Day 2022, help us raise awareness by sharing these resoruces with someone you know who needs them, on your social media for all to see, in conversations at work, or even in the pub.