In support of World Suicide Prevention Day this year I’m offering FREE telephone support all day on Sunday 10 September 2017 between 9:00 and 17:00 BST. If you’re having thoughts of suicide and want to talk about how you feel, please call me. There’s no obligation and no cost: just an offer of genuine care and a listening ear. There is great power in talking things through and, you know, it’s OK to feel not OK sometimes! Why not call me to talk it through?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) nearly 800,000 people world-wide take their own lives each year and for every one of them there are many more who try and fail. Suicide affects everyone, from close family members to whole communities and the sad thing is that many of these suicides could have been prevented.
People take their own lives when they feel there is no other way out of whatever is troubling them. Is it possible that we could be part of the solution? Every day, many of us will meet someone who is struggling in some way and we will not even know it. But maybe today we will notice when someone is troubled by poor mental health, bereavement, relationship breakdown, pain or some other seemingly insurmountable problem and, just maybe, we will summon the courage to intervene with a genuine “how are you feeling?”.
Let’s be honest. It’s so easy to move through our day without really connecting with other human beings, especially if they’re strangers. It’s hard enough to strike up a simple conversation in a shop, café or in the office so surely, we’re never going to approach the subject of suicidal feelings, right?
But does this really have to be the case? Many people believe that by just mentioning to someone the possibility that they may be having suicidal feelings will somehow ‘put it into their heads’. Let me tell you that there is no evidence whatsoever to support this: on the contrary, you are more likely to find that a person is relieved to have been asked and feel grateful that someone has taken the time to care.
There is someone out there who is thinking of taking their own life. Maybe today we can become part of the solution by asking them how they feel and not being afraid to ask the tough questions. You never know, someone’s life could be saved. For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day see the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).