As average statistics go, there are just over 6,000 suicides in the UK each year. When you start to think about how many individuals that is per day, it's a sobering thought. Most of us have known of somebody somewhere, who has sadly ended their life. Regardless of how or why it happens, it is an incredibly shocking and devastating thing... perhaps the worst part being that it's rarely inevitable.
But what can we do?
It is hard understand if one has never contemplated it, but for the people that do contemplate it, you have to assume they must be experiencing unimaginable pain. Perhaps they've been suffering from mental ill-health, maybe their self-esteem is at rock bottom or it could be that they've got themselves into seemingly inescapable difficulties. Whatever the root of it, too many people feel ashamed and this often one of the biggest things that prevents them from asking for help.
I believe that we shouldn't let this subject be a taboo. As the #talkingsuicide campaign suggests, "Talking about suicide doesn't make suicide more likely to happen - but not talking about it does."
If you're on Twitter, you can tweet your support using that hashtag, or follow journalist Bryony Gordon (@bryony_gordon) who is a fantastic supporter of all things mental health.
So as one of the main keys for making a difference is listening to people, I want to encourage you to do that because it could save a life. The Samaritans are a FANTASTIC charity and if you want to grab a few ideas for listening well, check out their tips! It's always worth raising awareness about The Samaritans or supporting them in any way you can. A free 24 hour helpline is available for anybody who needs to talk - whether it's the sufferer themselves, or if you are worried about someone else. Another great charity for suicide prevention is CLASP (Counselling Life Advice Suicide Prevention). You can view the website here.
Finally, if you'd like any staff training in your organisation about suicide prevention or related topics, you know where we are.
Thanks for reading!
I'm Jemima, founder of Olive Branch Consultancy and passionate about delivering excellence with sensitivity and care.