World Suicide Prevention Day is an awareness day observed on 10th September every year around the world. This day provides a united commitment to prevent suicides by starting the conversation, and showing that recovery is possible. In the UK, one in five people thinks about suicide in their lifetime. Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s within the UK, with men being three times more likely to die by suicide than women. By raising awareness, we are hoping to prevent further loss and reduce the stigma around ‘not being ok’.
This year, the International Association of Suicide Prevention announced the theme of World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 as “Creating Hope Through Action”. This message aims to inspire and empower people to connect with someone they think may be struggling.
Sometimes the most difficult conversations are the ones we should be having. In a nation where “fine, thanks” is our natural response to being asked if we’re ok, it feels taboo to tell someone that we’re actually not ok. However, Time to Change research shows that 78% of us say we are fine. While reaching out can be the hardest step, it could potentially save a life. That’s why it is important to check in with our loved ones. Taking a moment to ask someone if they’re ok, and then simply asking again if they’re sure, can make a difference.
If you are struggling, remember that it is ok to not be ok. We have listed a variety of resources below that you can contact if you need support.
- Grassroots Suicide Prevention: Grassroots are a suicide prevention organisation based in Brighton. Grassroots’ StayAlive app is packed full of useful information and tools to help users stay safe in crisis. The app includes a Safety Plan, Wellness Plan, Reasons for Living, and a LifeBox. There are also strategies for staying safe, staying grounded, and also guided breathing exercises.
- Samaritans (116 123): Samaritans are a 24/7 phone line dedicated to anyone who needs to talk. They also offer alternative talking methods, as well as resources for anyone who is worried about someone else.
- Papyrus (0800 068 4141): Papyrus is a suicide prevention charity offering a confidential Hopeline for people under 35. This line is open 9am–12am (midnight) every day of the year.
- Shout (85258): Shout is a free, confidential 24/7 text service for suicide prevention. They offer many resources including a free Little Book of Coping Skills.
- Mermaids (0808 801 0400): Mermaids is the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charity for children, young people and their families, empowering thousands of people with its secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends. Their hotline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.
- Switchboard LGBT+ helpline (0300 330 0630): Switchboard LGBT+ helpline is safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional well-being. The phoneline is open 10:00-22:00 every day.