Many of us will suffer from mental health challenges at some point during our lives. For most, the symptoms and issues are dealt with and the sufferer can continue to live a normal life. For some, they are unable to see a way out of their depression and feel that the only solution is to take matters into their own hands and end their own life. Every year there is a dedicated day to raise awareness about suicide, and more importantly, to raise awareness about preventing it.
What Is It?
Started in 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day is an international awareness day that occurs every year on 10th September. It is a day that encourages worldwide commitment and actions to prevent suicides by taking part in various activities. These events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. Each year has a different theme and focus, to bring to light a different specific aspect of suicide prevention. This year the theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ and the day hopes to help people focus on and explore the complicated idea of ‘hope’ in suicide prevention.
Nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily and for every person who completes suicide, 20 or more may attempt it. About one million people die by suicide each year. Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death and it is influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors. In 2019 there were 5,691 suicides in England and Wales, which was 321 more than in 2018. Men aged 45-49 and women aged 50-54 had the highest suicide rates in England and Wales. Suicide statistics show that women are approximately three times more likely to attempt suicide, though men are two to four times more likely to die by suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day aims to:
– Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
– Improve education about suicide.
– Spread information about suicide awareness.
– Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.
What Can You Do?
World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, agencies and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention. This is done through:
– The launch of new government initiatives to prevent suicide.
– Conferences, open days, educational seminars or public lectures.
– Media programmes promoting suicide awareness and prevention.
– Memorial services or candlelight ceremonies to remember those who died from suicide.
– Organizing cultural or spiritual events, fairs or exhibitions.
– Launches of publications about suicide awareness and prevention.
– Training courses about suicide and depression awareness.
What To Do If You Feel Suicidal
Suicide is the act of intentionally taking your own life and having abstract thoughts about ending your life and thinking others will be better off without you around. Different people have different experiences of suicidal feelings. You might feel unable to cope with the feelings you have. It may be that you feel less like you want to die and more like you cannot go on living the life you have.
If you are experiencing ongoing suicidal feelings, you might feel as if there’s nothing that could help. But there is support available to help you cope and address the problems that may be causing you to feel suicidal.
– Talk to your GP. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medication, refer you to talking therapies or specialist services. It is the first port of call if you are struggling with your mental health.
– Tell your friends and family. Your family and closest friends will want to support you if you are feeling suicidal. They will want to help you in whatever way you need.
– Support groups. Although talking to family and friends can be helpful, it is beneficial to talk to someone who has been through what you are going through. These can be face to face or online.
– Medication. Some people find medication helpful to cope with your symptoms, but will not help in addressing the problems causing the feelings. These can be antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood stabilisers.
– Crisis services. These offer support during a mental health crisis. Crisis teams offer help if you have a crisis outside of a hospital, or there are crisis houses that help you in a residential setting, rather than a hospital.
Places To Find Support:
– Mind has a very informative page about suicidal thoughts and feelings and what to do if you are experiencing them.
– Samaritans have lots of branches across the UK and you can find your closest here
– Rethink has a support document for anyone feeling suicidal and where you can go for support.
All clinicians at Oxford CBT are Cognitive Behavioural Therapists or Psychologists, offering evidence-based interventions and support for a range of issues for both young people and adults. If you would like to book an appointment you can do so on our online booking portal. If you have a question please get in touch via our online contact form or call us on 01865 920077.