This Saturday 10 September marks World Suicide Prevention Day. In the UK and Ireland, more than 6,000 people die by suicide every year - an average of 18 a day. Connecting and communicating with others and letting people know that #ITSOKAYTOTALK is this year’s key message and talking to someone who is feeling suicidal can be a game changer. Equally, just opening up to others if you’re feeling down can feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Our Trust has joined forces with a bereavement support charity and a former rugby league player to mark World Suicide Prevention Day with a short video to help those who have been affected by suicide.
To share some simple coping mechanisms we have produced the video in partnership with Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) charity and former Leigh Centurions and Warrington Wolves player Ian Knott, who has drawn on his own personal experiences of feeling suicidal in the hope of helping others.
In 2014, there were more than 6,000 suicides in the UK alone. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to reduce this number and this year's theme is about connecting with others and letting people know that it’s okay to talk.
The short video aims to bring the subject to the forefront by encouraging people who are concerned about someone close to them to start a conversation and ask them how they are doing.
Dr Phil Cooper, Nurse Consultant at 5 Boroughs Partnership, also offers his tips and advice in the video clip.
He said: “Suicide is currently the biggest killer of men aged between 20 and 49 in the UK but suicidal thoughts and feelings can affect anyone. If you are feeling suicidal, the best thing you can do is speak to someone you trust – whether that’s a family member, a friend or your GP.”
“It’s important to remember that help is available and talking to someone about how you’re feeling is an important step to getting that support and feeling better.”
“If you are worried about a family member or friend, let them know you’re there for them. Sometimes just asking ‘are you okay?’ can be enough to bring someone back from feeling suicidal.”
We have also been working with one of our volunteers, Patsy Kelly, who has written a moving account of her experience of losing her husband to suicide 22 years ago. You can read her story and video here.
You can find out more about World Suicide Prevention Day at: www.samaritans.org/wspd. Follow our tweets @5BoroughsNHS using the hashtag #ITSOKAYTOTALK
If you are feeling suicidal, don’t suffer in silence - seek immediate help:
Any family members affected by suicide can call the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) national helpline on 0800 003 7029.
• Contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123 - they're open 24 hours and are there to listen
• Contact your GP for an emergency appointment
• Call NHS 111
To find out more about World Suicide Prevention Day follow this link: http://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/our-campaigns/world-suicide-prevention-day