World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is held each year on 10th September. It’s an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is Connect, Communicate and Care.
• Connect – ask how someone is (for help on starting a conversation visit the Mind and Samaritans websites below).
• Communicate – signpost to support.
• Care – look out for the warning signs.
WSPD is a reminder for us to reach out to those around us who are going through a difficult time; those who are suffering from feelings of low mood and suicide often feel worthless and believe that nobody cares about them. This is why it is important to let people know #ITSOKAYTOTALK. Sharing the hashtag #ITSOKAYTOTALK supports The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), which battles to prevent male suicide in the UK, as well as Samaritans who are encouraging people to connect with others and share this message. Another way to raise awareness, encouraged by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, is to light a candle near a window at 8pm today.
Locally, If U Care Share Foundation is a charity based in the North East that are also raising awareness of World Suicide Prevention Day by sharing the hashtag #ASKMEWHY – for more information on this campaign you can visit their website: https://www.ifucareshare.co.uk/inside-out.
There may be times where you feel you cannot approach someone who is struggling as you fear you may not know what to say or you might make the situation worse. You don’t need to be a professional to do this, by just listening to how someone is feeling or asking if they are okay can give people the confidence to open up to you.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, or want to find out more, you may find the websites below useful:
International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) – https://www.iasp.info/wspd/
Mind – http://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/campaigns/bluelight/world-suicide-prevention-day/?ctaId=/news-campaigns/campaigns/bluelight/blue-light-programme-events/slices/world-suicide-prevention-day/
Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org/wspd
If U Care Share Foundation – https://www.ifucareshare.co.uk/inside-out
You can make a referral to our service using our online referral form http://www.tmnorthumberland.org.uk/referring-to-us/ or by calling us on 0300 30 30 700.
If you’re worried that someone is at immediate risk of taking their own life, you should stay with that person and take one of the following steps:
• Encourage them to ring the Samaritans, 116 123, open 24 hours a day or the local Crisis Team on 0303 123 1146
• Contact their GP for an emergency appointment or the out of hours service
• Ring 999 or NHS direct on 111
• Go to the nearest A&E department.