World Suicide Prevention Day

Saturday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day.

In recent years, especially on the back of Covid-19, mental health has become a topic of much discussion and a lot more openness. This can only be a good thing. Mental and physical health and/or wellbeing are two sides of the same coin.

In many workplaces there are now mental health champions or wellbeing officers, and campaigns are encouraging us all to open up and talk before our problems feel too overwhelming or irreversible to cope with.

Yet every year, thousands of people die by suicide. For example, in England in 2020 there were 4912 registered suicides.  In London, around 10 people every week take their own life. Most at risk are men, especially in the 45-49 year age group (see Samaritans for more statistics).

Suicide is a complex and difficult thing to talk about. Its impact is long lasting and devastating. Engaging in conversations about mental health, and especially suicidal feelings, can feel challenging or uncomfortable. There is no quick or easy fix when someone is feeling suicidal, but there is support available, and there are things everyone of us can do, or say, or ask.

Below is a list of resources that can perhaps help someone, or help all of us be better prepared to support someone going through a mental health crisis.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is ask a question, and listen to the answer without interruption or prejudice.