Help tackle suicide – reach out to someone who may need help
Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day this Friday (10 September), mental health experts are urging people to reach out to anyone who might be struggling – it could save their life.
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) this year is ‘creating hope through action’. And Dorset HealthCare, which provides local mental health services, has set out simple steps anyone can take to provide hope to people contemplating the worst.
Dorset HealthCare’s Trust Lead for Psychology, Meherzin Das, said:
“Through our thoughtfulness and actions we can all make a difference by reaching out to someone in their darkest moments, and supporting friends and colleagues who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts or others bereaved by suicide. No one needs to suffer alone because we are all here to help each other in every way we can.”
You can take action by taking time to:
- notice what is going on with your family, friends and colleagues. By stepping closer, we can be aware of those around us who need help
- reach out and start a conversation if you notice something is different. This can encourage those with suicidal thoughts to reach out for help
- find out what help is available, and signpost others to it.
Dorset HealthCare offers a range of services to support anyone feeling stressed, in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts.
The Trust’s 24/7 Connection helpline is open for all ages. Anyone in Dorset can call 0800 652 0190, or NHS 111, for free. You do not need to be known by our services and can also phone for support and advice about a friend or family member experiencing poor mental health.
Visit www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/takeastep for further information on other phone, face-to-face and app support available.
A few years ago Natasha Evans, 35, from Poole, found herself trapped in dangerous downward spiral of despair and depression, which led to suicidal thoughts.
But she found her way to recovery by reaching out for help – and is urging others to open up about their mental health.
She said: “My illness made me believe that no one would be able to help me. I thought that the only way out was by suicide. I now see that had I acted out that plan, I would have missed out on so much and it would have been such a tragedy.
“If you are the person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts, or feeling like you can’t cope, please tell someone. That is half the battle, once someone knows and they can help you, it gets that much easier afterwards.
“I’d also like to encourage everyone to simply take time to reach out to someone you know – a relative, friend or colleague – or even a stranger you think might be struggling. Every action can connect someone to life and the help they want.”
You can also support WSPD by lighting a candle at 8pm on 10 September to remember a lost loved one and survivors of suicide.
Visit the International Association of Suicide Prevention website for further advice on reaching out to help others.