Screenprint by Anthony Burrill for Grassroots

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). Observed on September 10th, every year, WSPD provides the opportunity for people, across the globe, to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. To mark the day our Mental Health Team have written this guide.

Spotting the signs

As the sultry summer heat lingers, there is still time to enjoy the summer weather. But we are not here to talk about the weather…instead, we are going to address a subject that is never very easy to talk about…suicide.

According to the Samaritans, there were 6,507 suicides in the UK during 2018, with the highest suicide rate in the UK is among men aged 45 – 49. Sadly, there has been a significant increase in suicide in the UK, which appears to stem from the increase in the male suicide rate.

With those shocking statistics, we want to ensure carers know that we are available to talk on our Response Line to offer support to carers that may help avoid carer breakdown, which can lead to some experiencing thoughts about ending their own life. You can also contact us to discuss the signs for spotting someone at risk of suicide. To increase your awareness of the signs,we have listed some here:

Non-verbal indicators

Social withdrawal, a persistent drop in mood, disinterest in maintaining personal hygiene or appearance, uncharacteristically reckless behaviour, poor diet changes, rapid weight changes, being distracted, anger, insomnia, alcohol or drug abuse, giving away sentimental or expensive possessions.

Indirect verbal expressions

Hopelessness, failing to see a future, believing they are a burden to others, saying they feel worthless or alone talking about their death or wanting to die.

This is not an exhaustive list.  Be guided by your instincts.

For further reading, you might find the following helpful:

If a person you care for or you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and need support, you can:

  • Call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment
  • Call NHS 111 (England) or NHS Direct (Wales) for out-of-hours help
  • Phone a free helpline such as:

Please don’t forget we are here to support carers, no matter what the situation.

Thanks and take care, The Mental Health Team