In the run up to World Suicide Prevention Day, people across Sussex are being urged to talk to someone if they’re struggling with how they feel.
World Suicide Prevention Day is marked each year on 10 September, and this year Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is reminding people that it’s ok to talk about how they feel and ask for help.
Three quarters of the people who end their lives in the UK each year are men, and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50, and that includes cancer and road traffic accidents.
People who have experienced a bereavement, and in particular people who have lost someone to suicide, are more likely to take their own lives. People who have harmed themselves, or tried to harm themselves, are also at higher risk, as are people living with chronic health conditions, people from minority communities and people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT).
It’s really important that we recognise we are in this together, that we encourage people to seek help if they are feeling vulnerable and that we look out for each other.
Dr Rick Fraser, Sussex Partnership’s Medical Director and lead for suicide prevention at Sussex Partnership said: “We believe that every death by suicide is potentially preventable, and that suicide is not inevitable. We know that men in particular find it difficult to talk about how they are feeling and may not come forward and ask for help if they are distressed or worried about something. It may seem like a generalisation, but men often don’t have the same social connections and ability to talk about things that are troubling them as women do, so it can often be difficult to spot when someone is struggling.
“I want everyone to know that, no matter what is going on in their life and how bad things may seem, help is out there and things can get better. There is still a huge stigma around mental health and suicide, but by talking about it and normalising conversations about how we’re feeling, people will start to feel more comfortable and hopefully ask for help before they reach crisis point.
“Our message this World Suicide Prevention Day is that, no matter who you are, if you are feeling alone, distressed or worried, please talk to someone. Whether that is a friend, your GP or someone at the Samaritans, you don’t have to manage alone. And if you’re worried about someone, please reach out and ask for help. It’s so important that we look out for each other and support each other in seeking help.”
If you are concerned about how you are feeling, or if you are concerned about someone you know, you can have a free, confidential, non-judgemental conversation with the Samaritans at any time of day on 116 123.
You can also talk to your GP, who will be able to refer you to local organisations for support, or contact the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0300 5000 101.