Today is World Suicide Prevention Day with this year’s theme being ‘’Creating Hope Through Action,’ which focuses on taking action, no matter how big or small to help someone who may be suffering. Suicide is an absolute tragedy which in some instances could be prevented.
Many socio-economic challenges have effected people’s mental health to a point where they see little value in carrying on.
It is a fact that everyone has mental health, however we still need to work hard to remove the stigma that poor mental health has.
There have been significant leaps forward, however, more people are struggling and the demand for services often means that people are not able to access support when they really need it, with 1 in 4 of us struggling with mental health at any one time. (Mind)
According to the ONS, suicide remains the biggest killer amongst men age 45-49 here in the UK, with 15.3 males per 100,000 taking their own lives, compared to 4.9 women per 100,000.
Many of us have been affected by the death of a friend or loved one, and we know and understand the devastation that losing a loved one to suicide can bring. Often with so many unanswered questions, and a real wish that our loved one would have known and understood just how loved and valued they really were.
So, what can you do to help?
If someone is contemplating taking their own life they may seem disassociated with those around them, the world and their own emotions. They may not be showing any signs of distress.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they are suicidal or have thought of harming themselves. This can actually be a protecting question. Just because you have asked the question does not mean that this will trigger them to do something. You are simply giving them the freedom to talk about how they are really feeling without feeling like a burden.
If someone is in crisis, keep them talking about things that have mattered to them. Great memories that you may have shared, times spent together, plans for the future. This will help them to stay connected, feel safe and validated.
If you think that someone is at immediate risk of harm, or they have harmed themselves, then please call an ambulance on 999, whether you are with them or not. You will need to give a location of the person that you are calling about. If you are not with the person, perhaps arrange for someone to go to them whilst waiting for the ambulance, or try and keep them talking on the phone.
You can even call the Samaritans and ask them to contact them to try and talk to them whilst you are waiting for help.
It might be appropriate for you to try and move a person away from a dangerous location/situation, if you can and if it is safe to do so.
Please know when to step back and gain professional support. You have to look after yourself too and you will not be able to solve all of the person’s problems yourself.
If someone tells you that they are struggling, please just listen and take them seriously. You can respond by asking open questions, as opposed to offering advice or opinions.
If you are worried about someone, it is important that you are persistent with them. They may not be ready to open up to you, but just by reminding them that you will always be there for them will let them know that you are there for them and they are not on their own.
And what if you need help and support?
You have a place here within our Club, where we will provide you with as much help, support and signposting as we possibly can.
You are not on your own. Please reach out and talk to someone. There will never be any judgement or humiliation. You will be listened to and taken seriously.
Please speak to your GP. They will listen and support, and may be able to refer you for talking therapies or provide medication.
If you feel that you are at immediate risk due to suicidal thoughts or self-harming, please contact 111 for emergency support. They can direct you to immediate support, which may mean an ambulance being called for you.
If you have tried to take your own life, or have caused significant harm to yourself, please contact 999 and request an ambulance.
If you are left alone with your thoughts and would like to speak to someone, please contact the Samaritans on free phone number 116 123. The number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Please see a list here of other organisations that will be able to help in varying situations Other sources of help | Samaritans
Remember – we are #OneClubOneCounty and you will never be on your own.
On World Suicide Prevention Day 2022, County boss James Rowberry said: “It’s so important to have days like today to help those struggling with their mental health and raise awareness as we work together to prevent suicides.
“If any one reading this is currently struggling, please reach out to loved ones or registered charities to talk to someone you can trust to help you get better. The world is a better place with you in it.”