Today, Saturday 10th September 2022, is World Suicide Prevention Day. An annual event hosted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO), dedicated to raising awareness, opening conversation, and making positive change regarding suicide.
Seeing statistics regarding suicide can often feel overwhelming. Suicide affects millions of people in the UK every year, and the magnitude of this can result in feelings of helplessness. It’s hard to know how to create hope and change when faced with such a vast problem, especially one which is shrouded in stigma.
This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “Creating Hope Through Action”.
Suicide prevention is not one person’s job. Suicide is everyone’s business, and different sectors across society all have their parts to play. From education, housing, and social justice sectors, to mental health services doing the ground-work; suicide prevention must be a community effort.
When suicide prevention feels all too overwhelming, reassure yourself with this. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
So how can you create hope through action today? Here are some suggestions which we hope inspires confidence to make a difference, not just today, but every day.
If you are affected by suicide yourself:
- Create hope through action by taking control of your situation. Whether you are having thoughts of suicide yourself, are caring for someone in crisis, or have been bereaved by suicide; make the decision to reach out for help. You deserve support. To see the services that we have available, click here.
- Decide to reach out to your loved ones or local services. Take that courageous first step is the start of your recovery journey. Where there is help, there is hope.
- Make a Safety Plan. Create hope through action by planning for your safety. If you would like any support in doing this, please get in touch with us.
If someone you care about is affected by suicide:
- Ask them how they are, and actively listen to their answer. See our toolkit, made especially for World Suicide Prevention Day, for a guide regarding talking about suicide.
- Attend a mental health training course to build your confidence in supporting your loved one.
- Listen to yourself and evaluate whether you need support too. It can be hard to see someone you care about struggle with suicide, and if this is affecting you negatively, you deserve support as well. The Tomorrow Project provides support for carers in crisis; please get in touch with us if you need this.
If you are neither of the above, but still want to create hope through action:
- Attend a suicide prevention training course to build your skills and knowledge.
- Give a one-off or regular donation to charitable organisations which provide suicide prevention support. This increases their capacity to support those who need support. If you would like to donate to Harmless and The Tomorrow Project, you can do so here.
- Ask your friends and family how they are doing, and listen to their answers. Talk openly about suicide with them, and create an environment where suicide is a safe topic.
- Develop your knowledge of topics which can put people at risk of suicide. Topics such as institutional racism, LGBTQ+ rights, poverty, disability, or self-harm.
- Write to your MP, discussing suicide prevention at a governmental level.
Suicide is preventable, not inevitable. Create hope through action, by means which are accessible to you, to show yourself and others that suicide is never the only option.
If you need support, or would like to get in touch with us, we can be reached here:
0115 880 0280