With grateful thanks to our blogger Annabelle.
2 October 2023
by Annabelle Martin
Before this article starts if you or someone you know are struggling with suicide of suicidal thoughts PLEASE call 116 123 (Samaritans) or 999 (Emergency Help) because you don’t have to face this alone.
Suicide. It’s a word we have all heard in one way or another. It affects us all. It is the biggest killer in men over 25 and under 40 and 1 in 5 people have thought about taking their own life. According to statistics: One person takes their own life every 40 seconds and 1 in 15 people have attempted suicide at least once in their lives.
The first time you could have heard Suicide could’ve been from a movie, TV Show talking about it (Aidan on Corrie in 2018), a news story such as Roman Kemp bravely talking about on GMB (Good Morning Britain) yesterday morning (www.youtube.com, n.d.) or…. it can be the conversation or phone call we dread about a loved one: “I’m so sorry but their gone. They took their own life.” September was Suicide Prevention Month, however we need to talk about suicide prevention every month. In this blog, I’ll tell you some signs to look out for and how to approach the topic if someone you love wants to die.
And I know what some of you are thinking: This is just a nobody talking about a subject. What does this person know?! WELL… Coming from someone who lost a family member to suicide as well as one of my childhood heroes Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver in Power Ranger who passed last November) I know how Suicide can tear a family/community apart. But after the grieving, crying and self-blaming (If I called more, If I made more effect… they might still be here) Trust me. It does hurt. But you find a way to pick yourself up and carry their legacy on with you.
Now here are some tell-tale signs that someone could be feeling suicidal: Acting differently than usual (their mood doing a full 180. So going from outgoing to feeling worthless as an example.), giving valuable things away that they adore to loved ones, not taking care of themselves and distancing themselves from friends and loved ones.
So from signs to look out to how YOU can help someone in that situation: Check in with them and plan a meet at a place you both love E.G the forest, beach, out for a coffee and just talk about life and just LISTEN to how they talk or don’t talk because sometimes their silence can be a key about how they feel.
Here is a couple of examples you could say:
- ‘How are things, I’ve noticed you don’t seem quite yourself?’
- Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’
Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong, or what they should do
Don’t be afraid to ask scary questions (I know it’s easier said than done but it’ll show the person that you actually care about them and their life.) You could ask:
- Have you thought about ending your life?
- Are you saying that you want to die?
- Are you thinking of ending your life because you want to be dead, or is it because you want the situation you’re in or the way you feel to stop? (Samaritans, n.d.)
Their reactions to you asking those questions could be the reason that they decide to get professional help and stay alive.
Another thing I will bring to your attention is the Stay Alive App.
It’s a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information to help you stay safe. This app is available on Goggle Play and Apple App Store.
(Grassroots Suicide Prevention, n.d.)
I know this article has been maybe tough to read or have subjects on your mind that you don’t want to talk about but the more you talk and reach out, the more lives that can be saved before it’s too late. Even if only one person decides to ask for help instead of grabbing those meds, that rope, walk over to the tall building, stands on those train tracks I will be able to feel like my work was done because I helped someone to carry on going on with life.
And remember this if not anything else… there’s someone here, on Earth who is glad and lucky that you’re alive. YOU MATTER.
- Grassroots Suicide Prevention. (n.d.). Stay Alive App. [online] Available at: https://prevent-suicide.org.uk/find-help-now/stay-alive app/gclid=CjwKCAjw3oqoBhAjEiwA_UaLtriVu2ERHjhIbFzYV2pHTv3OrdA04blwf2Nekp6DmZkArzHoXCKw5BoCJEgQAvD_BwE [Accessed 14 Sep. 2023].
- Pindar, J. (2022). Suicidal Thoughts Statistics | 2022 Data | Champion Health. [online] Champion Health. Available at: https://championhealth.co.uk/insights/suicidal-thoughts-statistics/. [Accessed 14 Sep. 2023].
- (n.d.). World Suicide Prevention Day. [online] Available at: https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/world-suicide-prevention-day/. [Accessed 14 Sep. 2023].
- youtube.com. (n.d.). Roman Kemp Urges Government To Provide Mental Health Support In All Schools | Good Morning Britain. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKfARe55SfU&t=25s [Accessed 14 Sep. 2023].