Today is World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is suicide prevention.
Every year close to 800,000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families and communities and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally in 2016.
Who is at risk?
There is a strong link between suicide and mental health, but suicide can also happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons and homeless people.
By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.
Suicides can be prevented and there are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent suicide and suicide attempts. These include:
If you are concerned about someone, either because of things they are saying or doing, it can be difficult to know where to start a conversation about distress and suicidal thoughts, however, just starting to talk and opening up can help.
Taking the time to listen
Once you’ve started a conversation with someone struggling with suicidal thoughts, then what do you do? One of the most important things is to listen.
Creating the right environment
Many of us spend a lot of our time at work, and workplaces can help to support people, whether by organisational approaches or individual colleagues reaching out.
You may then be able to encourage the person to seek the professional help they require.
Stigma and taboo
Stigma, particularly surrounding mental disorders and suicide means many people thinking of taking their own life or who have attempted suicide are not seeking help and are therefore not getting the help they need. The prevention of suicide has not been adequately addressed due to a lack of awareness and the taboo in many societies to openly discuss it.
Raising awareness and breaking down the taboo is important to make progress in preventing suicide.
We must make the same progress for the health of our minds that we have achieved for the health of our bodies.
How can we help?
Our mental health provision provides psychological therapy and emotional support to individuals aged ten upwards. With strong working relationships between our psychiatrists and psychotherapists, and a high level of mutual trust and respect, you know you’re in good hands.
Working alongside our Consultant Psychiatrists means we can use a joined up approach by first assessing your needs and then developing a plan of care to help you achieve your goals. All of our therapists are fully trained and qualified in their specialism and accredited with a relevant governing body. Several of our therapists are registered with BUPA, AXA and most insurance companies.
Call us on 01772 440321 for more information or visit our website
Some key facts about suicide
- Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year.
- For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.
- 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.