by Marie Dempsey, Let’s Get Talking therapist
World Suicide Prevention Day 2022 – Saturday September 10th
World suicide prevention day occurs on September 10th each year and highlights the continued importance for open and honest dialogue to assist with the prevention and intervention of suicide, for the individual and those around them.
We must keep encouraging those who need help to take the steps to ask for it and support them as they do so, and for those who are able to offer support, to reach out and give it. This can be the first time someone is finding new approaches and ways to cope when facing life’s difficult times.
Creating hope through action is the continuing theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2022 and is a reminder to everyone that there is an alternative to suicide.
Some to be aware of:
- There is no action too small to create or provide hope for someone who is in despair, struggling with their mental health and in suicidal crisis, or for those who are navigating life following a bereavement through suicide.
- Preventing suicide is possible and we can all play a role. There is no one size fits all approach to this, it is always on an individual basis but there are certain things that we know can help. The best way to prevent suicide, is to recognize the warning signs and be prepared to act immediately if you become aware of them.
- Ask: If you have concerns, ask the person if they are thinking about ending their life, the misconception is that by asking the question you can somehow put the idea into the persons head, but the reality is, if they are already thinking about it, you have now offered them the opportunity to share this and to get the help to deal with it. Listening to the person and acknowledging these difficult feelings they are experiencing can help reduce risk and allow the person to feel heard.
- Respond for safety: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to potentially harmful items / places is an important preventative measure. While this is not always easy, eradicating or deactivating the means in suicide planning can make a difference.
- Help to connect: Contacting trusted family members, friends, or colleagues. Calling crisis helplines e.g., Pieta / Samaritans, GP, mental health professional or local A&E, these are all ways of accessing supports to help work through crisis. Staying connected, following up with a person is proven to reduce risk also.
- Building resilience: Development and education of coping strategies that support the individual, families, and communities in suicide prevention, inclusive of schools, health, and emergency services.
World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity not only to raise the awareness of the impact of suicide and to focus attention on the national, regional and community efforts that take place globally, but to also highlight the role of the people as individuals, we can all play a part in suicide prevention.