Today we are focusing on the worrying rates of suicides in the UK - and worldwide. In the UK 75% of suicides are by men with the age group 40 - 49 at the highest risk. Alarmingly the under 25 age group numbers of suicides has increased by 23.7% in the last year and overall suicides are up by 11.8%. Looking at statistics globally, the World Health Organisation figures show one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds.
6507 suicides were recorded in the UK in 2018 - more than road accidents and wars and we fear this number is probably higher due to the subjectivity in the law around the recording of the cause of death.
It’s extremely worrying and becoming far too prevalent.
Last week, during a delivery of a Mental Health First Aid course, I was speaking to a participant who shared that 3 friends had died by suicide in the last year. All under the age of 25.
It’s real and happening and we have to do something about it.
So what can you do? How can you help with ‘prevention of suicide’?
The most important things you can do are:
Notice other people. Don’t let things slide by. If you notice changes in behaviour or mood or appearances - ask that person how they are feeling. And ask with care, interest and purpose.
Connect with others. People who are considering suicide often feel isolated, alone and desperate. They feel overwhelmed with their thoughts, feelings, troubles and feel that they have ‘no way out’. By connecting with them (which simply means being present and focusing on them) they will not be alone and this may make a huge difference.
Listen to them. Don’t try and fix their problems, or tell them about how you’ve had similar worries, Just listen to them. Be there for them and show genuine care and support.
Encourage them to get support and professional help. There are so many organisations that offer fantastic services and support - a few are listed below:
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): for men Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight daily
Papyrus: Prevention of Young Suicide) under 35 Call 0800 068 41 41 – Mon to Fri 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm Text 07786 209697 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Silver Line: for older people Call 0800 4 70 80 90
CALM: (Campaign Against Living Miserably) 0800 58 58 58 www.thecalmzone.net
The Mix: Under 25’s freephone 0808 808 4994 (1 – 11pm) www.themix.org.uk
YoungMinds: Crisis Messenger free, 24/7 mental health crisis support text YM to 85258
And take care of yourself too!