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11 Sep 2017

World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 - 'Take A Minute, Change A Life'

Yesterday, Sunday 10th September 2017, marked World Suicide Prevention Day, organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation.

Since 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day has taken place on 10th September each year, with the purpose of calling all individuals and organisations to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 80,000 people around the world take their own life each year - that’s one person every 40 seconds. Research also suggests that 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people think about suicide.

This year’s theme is ‘Take a minute, change a life’ aimed at highlighting the importance of opening up conversations and taking the time to listen to others. Within all communities, if people work together, sharing information, expertise and time, then a great deal can be done to help those who are in need and vulnerable to suicide.

t’s through this combined effort, that a difference to the lives of many can be made.On Thursday 14th September R U OK? Day will also take place, to encourage more people to ask the question within their school, workplace or community.

It’s important to remember that starting a conversation can help save lives and is a vital step towards challenging the stigma around mental health.

You don’t have to be an expert to talk and listen, following the steps below can help you help others:

  • If you notice that something has changed in your colleague, friend or family member ask yourself, are you ready to start the conversation? It’s important to look out for yourself as well as others and if you don’t think you’re prepared, try to think of someone else in their support network who could talk to them.
  • If you’re ready, set time aside with no distractions. This will provide you with as much time as you need to talk privately.
  • Listen carefully and let them share as much or as little as they want to. Remember, you may be the first person they have opened up to so try not to pressure them and listen without judgment.
  • Encourage action by offering them help in seeking expert support and provide information on ways to do this. This could be offering to visit the GP with them, or helping them speak to a friend or family member.
  • Stay in touch and check in on their progress. Listening and ensuring they understand you are there for them can make a real difference.

  For more helpful information and advice on how to start a conversation, visit the R U OK? Day website, or speak to the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK).

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