What is it?
"Reaching out and saving lives" is the theme of this year's awareness day, an annual initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), calling to action both individuals and organisations to take whatever steps they can to reduce the number of those who die from suicide each year (an estimated 800,000 worldwide). We must not underestimate the impact that small acts of compassion and concern for the vulnerable can have. Check in with someone you may be concerned about, show them kindness, listen to their feelings, reach out and save lives.
Those bereaved by suicide
Suicide is devastating for those left behind. They may experience feelings of grief, anger, guilt, disbelief and helplessness. Because of cultural stigma, they may find they are treated differently to those bereaved in other ways and often feel isolated and alone. Well-wishers may avoid them because they do not understand their emotions or the reasons for their loved one being unable to go on with life, so don't feel able to provide comfort and support. Many are unable to empathise with the person they have lost so are unable to offer a non-judgemental ear. Allowing loved ones to talk about their loss in their own time and on their own terms is essential as they need to explore the full range of their emotions and work through all aspects of their grief.
What can I do?
Learn about suicide prevention and mental health from IASP's web resource directory http://www.iasp.info/resources/World_Suicide_Prevention_Day/2015/
Spread the message by circulating helpful information on websites, social media, newsletters and blogs as well as discussing the issue with friends and work colleagues
Organise awareness events such as conferences, BBQs, lunches, coffee mornings, exhibitions and rememberence services and ceremonies to think about those who have died
Offer mental health screening at your place of work through specialist organisations and providers
Create a video about suicide prevention and post it on sites such as You Tube
Lights a candle and place it in a window at 8pm on Thursday 10th September to show your support for lost loved ones and the people they leave behind
REACH OUT AND SAVE LIVES!