World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September. It’s an annual awareness raising event organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In the UK and ROI, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year - an average of 18 a day.
Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time can be a matter of life or death. People who are feeling low or suicidal often feel worthless and think that no-one cares. Small things like hearing from friends or family, feeling listened to or simply being asked the question ‘are you ok?’ can make a huge difference.
When a person reaches a point where they are at risk of taking their life, they’ve often lost sight of trying to find a way through their problems. But something as simple as asking “are you ok?” can help to bring someone back from that decision and could be enough to move someone away from a suicidal crisis.
Sometimes people say things which might help you recognise when they are struggling to cope:
- Making leading statements, such as ‘You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through’ or ‘It’s like the whole world is against me’. People sometimes say these things in the hope you will pick up on them and ask what they mean, so that they can talk about it.
- Negative statements about themselves, such as ‘Oh, no one loves me’, or ‘I’m a waste of space’, even if it sounds like they are joking.
You might feel that you don’t know how to help someone, because you don’t know what to tell them or how to solve their problems.
You don’t need to be an expert. In fact, sometimes people who think they have the answers to a problem are less helpful. Don’t forget that every person is different, so that what worked for one will not always work for another.
Hearing someone else’s worries or problems can affect you too. Take time for yourself to do the things you enjoy, and if you need to talk, do not hesitate to call the Health Assured helpline.
World Suicide Prevention Day is about getting people talking about mental health, it isn’t always easy, but it could save someone’s life.
If you would like to know more about helping others or would like to talk in confidence to someone else, please visit the Samaritans website for more information: