Every year, 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year we are focusing on the theme of connection and working together to prevent suicide.
For people who are feeling vulnerable or distressed, having a strong sense of connection is an important part of suicide prevention. Connection can come in many forms: we can connect with friends and family, have connections through activities, or with nature and the arts.
Being distracted from suicidal thoughts and engaging in activities to take time away from the difficulties can also help to lift the mood for those with suicidal thoughts at whatever level or intensity. For those of us not feeling distressed, being able to make connections with someone we think may be struggling, to give someone the opportunity to share with us how they are feeling, can really help.
Covid-19 has affected us all in different ways and brought new or increased challenges for many. But there has also been a positive impact of new connections, often with neighbours and within communities. We hope that exploring connection on this World Suicide Prevention Day will help us all think about how we can reach out and offer connection, helping ourselves and others who may be struggling.so we would like to share some helpful tips and information for those who might need it. Together we can work to raise awareness of suicide prevention and how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide.
Here are ideas from NSPA (National Suicide Prevention Alliance) on ways to connect:
Sometimes, we want to be there for someone but don't know how to start. We recommend that if you're worried about someone, you try talking to them.
It's okay if you're not an expert – just listening can help someone work through what's on their mind.
Here are the Samaritans SHUSH tips on how to be a good listener, and how you can help. When people feel listened to, it can save a life.
Here is a helpful downloadable and printable PDF leaflet available from National Mind about how to support someone who is feeling suicidal.
There is also a Stay Alive App developed by Grassroots Suicide Prevention - This is a suicide prevention resource full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
Other Useful Helplines:
Samaritans: 116 123 (free, for everyone, 24/7)
Somewhere To Turn (our free, online peer support and signposting service)
CALM: 0800 585858 (free, for men, 5pm-midnight)
PAPYRUS: 0800 968 4141 (free, for young people, 9am-10pm Mon-Fri, 2pm-10pm at the weekend)
Crisis Text Line: text SHOUT to 85258