Content note: Contains mention of suicide and suicide prevention.
World Suicide Prevention Day, on 10th September, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
With all the challenges that Coronavirus has brought to communities locally, nationally and globally this year, it is more important than ever to look after and look out for others as well as ourselves.
Below are some tips, advice from health professionals, and links to urgent support for anybody who is struggling with their mental health – or knows someone who might be.
Tips for coping right now
- do something you usually enjoy, such as spending time with a pet
- connect with friends and family – or people you trust
- eat well and drink sensibly where you can
You can also visit the NHS Every Mind Matters page for tips, tricks and quizzes to support mental health.
Worried about someone else?
If you're worried about someone, try to get them to talk to you. Ask open-ended questions like: "How do you feel about...?"
Do not worry about having the answers. Just listening to what someone has to say and taking it seriously can be more helpful.
See Samaritans' tips on how to start a difficult conversation.
Rethink also has advice on how to support someone who is having suicidal thoughts.
Talk to someone you trust
If you can, let family or friends know what you’re going through. They may be able to offer support that could help keep you safe. There's no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings – starting the conversation is what's important.
But if you are struggling to reach out to those around you, you can:
- call a GP – ask for an emergency appointment
- call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need
- call 999 – in an emergency
Phone a helpline
These free helplines are there for when you're feeling down and in need of support.
Unless it says otherwise, they're open 24 hours a day, every day - even during COVID-19.
There are helplines for different ages groups and groups – so the support is tailored to you.
Childline – for children and young people under 19 Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill
The Silver Line - support for older people
Call 0800 470 8090 - open 24/7
Making a safety plan
If you struggle with suicidal thoughts or are supporting someone else, it may help to make a safety plan to use if you need it:
- the Staying Safe website provides information on how to make a safety plan, including video tutorials and online templates to guide you through the process
- the mental health charity Mind also provides information on planning for a mental health crisis
Looking for extra support?
- In an emergency, always dial 999
- In a non-emergency, you can call 111 or, if you’re under 18, dial the CAMHS Central Advice and Duty Line 0151 488 8453
The following advice lines and opening times may also be of use:
- Anxiety UK Helpline, weekdays 9.30am - 5.30pm: 0344 477 5774
- For support following suicide by a loved one, visit listening-ear.co.uk/amparo