Connect with others is World Suicide Prevention Day message
ACROSS the globe more than 800,000 people take their lives each year.
In the UK alone Samaritans report more than 6,000 people died by suicide in the last year – an average of 18 people a day. Each year on September 10 the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) hold World Suicide Prevention Day.
The awareness day is an opportunity to break the stigma around discussing suicide. The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is about connecting with others and letting people know that it’s okay to talk.
Professor Ann John is a principal investigator at the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) and clinical academic at Swansea University. Her research focuses on suicide, self-harm and depression.
Ann explained: “It is important to remember that suicide is largely preventable. Talking openly about it can save lives. Many people have thoughts of suicide at some point in their lives, usually this will pass. It’s important that you don’t suffer in silence – speak to a close friend or family member, or contact one of the helplines below.”
Three out of four deaths by suicide are men, particularly in midlife. A number of charities have called for male suicide to be treated as a national public health issue, on a par with smoking, obesity and pollution.
Another ‘at risk’ group are young people. Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15-29 years.
Mental health can also play a role in the risk of suicide, as people diagnosed with a mental health problem are more likely to die by suicide than those without.
If you are feeling suicidal it is important to talk to somebody. You can phone the Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116 123 or text the Papyrus HOPEline on 07786 209697. Both organisations can also offer help and advice to those worried about a friend or family member.
Join the conversation on 10 September and let people know #ITSOKAYTOTALK