This World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), and in fact everyday, we’re reminding people that taking a minute to reach out to someone can make a huge difference. whether it’s someone you know well, like a close family member or a friend, a work colleague, or even a complete stranger, talk to them and find out how they’re doing.
We’re also encouraging people to help to raise awareness about the issue, and to educate ourselves and others about the causes and warning signs of suicide. We should all question the stigma associated with suicide, suicidal behaviour and mental health, and show compassion and care for those who are in distress in our community
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.
Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge
Every life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague and each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour.
In 2019, the Office for National Statistics reported 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales. Around three-quarters of these registered deaths were among men (4,303 deaths), which follows a consistent trend back to the mid-1990s.
How can we help?
At BedsRCC, we have a number of services that can help those feeling isolated and alone, or suffering with high levels of anxiety.
Our Village Agents make home visits to older people living in villages in Bedford Borough, to help them with free support and assistance, and our Good Neighbour scheme supports groups to provide a ‘safety net’ for their local area, responding to requests from residents in need of a bit of extra help. We also provide health walks, regular walks which are free and open to all.
We are part of the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care System, the sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) where local NHS organisations and councils deliver shared proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve.
We can signpost people to self-refer to those services and if they need 1:1 support, our Social Prescribing service can help.
Find out more information on how to reach out to someone
The Samaritans have a page dedicated to supporting someone if you don’t think they are feeling ok on their website.
Milton Keynes Council also have a page on their website with details on how to spot the signs.
Last but not least, you can also take the Zero Suicide Alliance free 20 minute online training to raise your own awareness.
Preventing suicide is possible and we are all key players in that prevention. If you are worried about someone in your community, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask “are you okay?”