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Suicide Awareness Day 10th September 2023

Posted on 07 September 2023


Did you know that over 700,000 lives are lost to suicide every year? That's one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. In the UK alone,115 people die by suicide every week, and a striking 75% of those deaths are males. 

Suicide is an incredibly complex issue, often without a single event or factor that can explain why someone takes their own life. But here's the important part: suicide is preventable. Many individuals who experience a suicidal crisis can, and do, recover. The key lies in recognising the signs and taking action. 

Signs to look out for 

  • Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy 
  • Finding everyday things overwhelming 
  • Not replying to messages, or being distant 
  • Avoiding people or seeming quiet 
  • Appearing restless or agitated 
  • Easily tearful 
  • Drinking or using drugs to cope with feelings 

How to start a conversation with someone 

Just being there to listen and showing you care can help. Here are some tips on how to open up a conversation with someone you’re worried about:  

  • Choose a good time, and somewhere without distractions 
  • Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer 
  • ‘How are things, I’ve noticed you don’t seem quite yourself?’ 
  • Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’ 
  • Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong, or what they should do 

It's normal to feel anxious about asking someone if they’re suicidal, but it could save someone's life. Try and avoid saying things like ‘You’re not thinking of doing something stupid are you?’. Being patient and showing you care builds trust and helps someone to open up. 

Evidence shows asking someone if they're suicidal can protect them. They feel listened to, and hopefully less trapped. Their feelings are validated, and they know that somebody cares about them. Reaching out can save a life -  Rory O'Connor, Professor of Health Psychology at Glasgow University 

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. World Suicide Prevention Day was set up to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. Individually, we can help by taking care of our own mental wellbeing, and seeking support if we need it, as well as being there for others who are struggling. 

If you, or someone you know, is being impacted you’d you can get support from the following places:  

Samaritans is open for support with any issues, including mental and emotional health problems. Call 116 123 (free from any phone) or email [email protected]  

National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK is a national helpline offering supportive listening service to anyone throughout the UK with thoughts of suicide or thoughts of self-harm. They are open 6pm to 3:30 am for those aged 18 or over.  Telephone: 0800 689 5652  Website:  

Shout is a confidential text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 (free on most major mobile networks)  

Silverline is aimed at people over 55. Their helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Telephone:  0800 4 70 80 90  Website: 

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