World Suicide Prevention Day gives us all a chance to promote awareness about suicide and the mental illnesses associated with suicide. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organization (WHO) play a key role in promoting this event.
Official figures show the suicide rate for men in England and Wales in 2019 was the highest for two decades. In the UK men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women. The Suicide rate for females under 25 has increased by 93.8% since 2012.
Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, there’s plenty you can do to help save a life.
Suicide warning signs include:
Talking about suicide – Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off dead.”
Seeking out lethal means – Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
No hope for the future – Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped (“There’s no way out”). Belief that things will never get better or change.
Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden (“Everyone would be better off without me”).
Getting affairs in order – Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Saying goodbye – Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.
Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Self-destructive behavior – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a “death wish.”
Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal speak up and seek help.
- call a GP – ask for an emergency appointment
- call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need
- contact your mental health crisis team
Or call the agencies below:
Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat pageInformation:
Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm
Text 07860 039967
Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill
Talk to someone you trust.