Shining a light on suicide
Organisations in Buckinghamshire including the county council, NHS, local charities and other parties are coming together to support World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday 10th September.
Those involved in Bucks are inviting people to support World Suicide Prevention Day by lighting a candle near a window at 8pm on Monday 10th September to show support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and to support the survivors of suicide.
Did you know:
• Every day in England around 13 people take their own lives
• Around 30 people die by suicide in Buckinghamshire each year
• Nationally and in Buckinghamshire, three in four suicides are among men, particularly middle-aged men
• People bereaved by suicide have a higher risk of taking their own life than other types of bereavement
Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: ‘Thankfully, the number of deaths by suicide in Buckinghamshire is small; however the statistics around suicide nationally are stark, with someone dying as a result of suicide in the UK every 90 minutes.
‘No-one should ever feel that taking their own life is the best option and a lot of people try to seek help before attempting suicide by telling other people about their feelings or by self-harming to show people that they are in emotional pain.
‘Everyone can help prevent suicide. Knowing and understanding the signs that someone may need support, and listening well is vital. It can be really hard for someone to open up and talk about how they are feeling, so listening in a sympathetic and caring way is one of the most helpful things you can do. You don’t have to be able to solve their problems but if you feel you can, offer support and encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling. Many people do want a chance to talk but don’t want to burden anyone around them.
‘World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity for us all to think about those who have experienced the effects of suicide. Join with us on 10th September and light a candle near a window at 8pm or share our ‘light a candle’ social media posts.’
How do I know if someone could be feeling suicidal?
• Talking or complaining of feeling hopeless or that life is not worth living
• Talking about feeling trapped, such as saying they can’t see any way out of their current situation
• Saying that friends and family would be ‘better off’ without them
• Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
• A sudden lift in mood after a period of severe depression
• Looking into methods or the means to end their own life
• Evidence of putting their affairs in order, for example giving away their belongings
• Saying they can hear voices telling them to end their own life
• Withdrawing and feeling isolated
What do I do if I am worried?
If you’re worried that someone you know may be considering suicide, try to encourage them to talk openly about how they are feeling. Listening is the best way to help. Don’t be afraid to ask directly about suicide. It will not make their feelings worse or ‘give them ideas’. For many people it can be a huge relief to be asked the question in a direct way and it can give them a chance to open up about their feelings and help them to think about more positive options.
Where can I get help?
If you have concerns that you or someone you know is about to act on suicidal thoughts call 111 or 999, or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. In Buckinghamshire this is at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Talking about your feelings is really important, both if you are feeling in need of support or if you are worried about someone. Some of the free helplines are:
• The Samaritans 24 hour listening support service – 116 123
• Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for young men who are feeling unhappy – 0800 58 58 58
• Papyrus, to help prevent suicide in young people – 0800 068 4141, SMS: 07786 20 9697
If you or someone you know needs specialist local support call:
• Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for people under 18 – 01865 901951
• Buckinghamshire Adult Mental Health Services – 01865 901600
There is further information and advice, including support for people bereaved by suicide, on the Buckinghamshire Mind website at https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/crisis-support/