Suicide is preventable. We can all do something to help a person that is feeling suicidal, whether it be a family member, friend, or stranger. Simply just starting a conversation with someone could save a life.
Suicide Prevention Projects
Our new suicide prevention project will support NHS England’s ambition to reduce suicide amongst middle-aged men by 10% by 2021, through a range of outreach activities, training for organisations and individuals in the community, and recruiting Suicide Prevention champions.
Suicide Prevention Champions
There are things we can all do to help someone who is feeling suicidal, which is why we are encouraging individuals and organisations to become more aware of how to support “at-risk” friends, family, colleagues and customers and to become suicide prevention champions, coaching others on how to:
- Be aware of the signs of someone who may be struggling
- Raise awareness and encourage others to do the free Zero Suicide Alliance training
- Encourage opening up and reducing the stigma around suicide, particularly for men
- Start the conversation if you are worried about someone and ask how they are feeling
- Be aware of services and support you can signpost someone to
- Raise awareness and share information about suicide with those around you
- Encourage your employer to take part in suicide prevention training, for example, having a trained Mental Health First Aider in the workplace.
Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service
The Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service aims to support individuals and families bereaved by suicide and link them to relevant services.
We now have a designated suicide bereavement liaison officer, who will receive referrals for support from police and/or health care professionals, and will proactively contact anyone bereaved following suicide to offer:
- One-to-one support
- Support during inquests or other related matters
- Guidance on where to find bereavement support services or mental health services for more specialist support
- Training to bereavement support organisations, GPs and Community Pharmacists to up-skill them to support those bereaved by suicide
- Resources and support
Suicide Prevention Toolkit
The toolkit below can help you have conversations with anyone you feel may be at risk of suicide. In addition to tips on how best to help someone who is struggling, the toolkit includes a list of resources including where to go for further support.
If you would like more information on our suicide prevention programmes, please email email@example.com
During 2020 we will deliver outreach activity across South West London, in a range of settings which men are likely to frequent (e.g. pubs, gyms/ leisure centres, football clubs; targeting men on lower incomes through Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Job Centres, Housing Associations and Local Authority Housing; Supporting or setting up a Men’s Shed in each borough).
Training for Organisations
The ‘’Business in community’ Mental Health for Employers Toolkit’ is a comprehensive tool to help those in the workplace identify staff members who may have suicidal feelings and gives practical advice on how to deal with a crisis situation. The toolkit will:
- Give you practical advice
- Help embed suicide prevention strategies in your organisation’s health and wellbeing policies,
- Guide your approach to supporting those at risk and act as a resource to provide support across your workforce.
Suicide – The Facts
What could cause someone to feel suicidal? The factors that lead someone to taking their own life are complex. It can’t be put down to simply one cause, and it is likely that a number of these factors contribute to someone feeling suicidal:
- Gender and age. The highest number of suicides are amongst middle aged men in the UK.
- Mental health problems, particularly depression. However, two thirds of men that take their own life have not been in contact with mental health services.1
- Family and relationship problems. The greatest risk is amongst divorced men².
- Drug and alcohol misuse. The risk of suicide is up to eight times bigger when someone is abusing alcohol².
- Unemployment and money problems. Someone that is unemployed is 2-3 times more likely to take their own life than someone in work².
- Societal expectations of men. Men are expected to be ‘masculine’ and aren’t typically encouraged to talk about their feelings. Men can be made to feel ashamed of having mental health issues.
- When someone has lost a loved one to suicide, they are also at higher risk themselves².
Signs someone may be struggling to cope
A lot of people still feel ashamed talking about feelings due to the stigma attached to suicide. However, there are some signs to look out for that could indicate that someone is struggling and in need of help:
- Extreme changes in mood – for example being very happy after being very depressed
- Isolating themselves from social situations
- Change in sleeping and eating habits
- Low energy
- Neglect of personal appearance
- Reckless or risky behaviour
- Increased drug or alcohol use
- Increasing anger or irritability
- Talking about suicide or wanting to die, even if it seems that they are joking
- Giving away possessions
- Saying goodbye to friends and family as if they won’t be seeing them again²
Remember to always take care of yourself as well and if you are feeling overwhelmed to talk to someone about it.
1 www.samaritans.org/about-samaritans/research-policy/suicide-facts-and-figures/. 2 www.thecalmzone.net/help/worried-about-someone/