Today is World Suicide Prevention Day – in Bristol too
Today is World Suicide Prevention day and here in Bristol, it is important to mark World Suicide Prevention day and think about services working towards suicide prevention.
World Suicide Prevention Day is marked on 10th September every year and is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in association with the United Nations.
It is a day when charities that work with mental health services, homelessness, and substance misuse can unite with humanitarian organisations, refugee services, domestic abuse, trauma and bereavement services to raise awareness about the reasons for suicide and to spread awareness of how people can work to prevent suicide.
Although World Suicide Prevention Day is a global awareness day, the message is clear: Suicide Prevention starts at home and for us, here in Bristol, with those working with the vulnerable, the people that lose hope, that become trapped in depression, anxiety or desperation. This is not just a global problem; it is a personal problem, a family problem, a friendship circle problem. The vast majority of us know of someone that has taken their own life, or made a serious attempt.
In the last 18 months, I have lost three people from my life to suicide. I have also seen others attempt to take their own life. In some cases, services were not involved, in others, it was because services failed to spot the signs or engage before it was too late. In others, their voice was simply ignored by those that they trusted to help them. In all cases, a common theme was that they did not believe anyone, themselves, people they had come to rely on or services could solve their problems.
Here at Independent Futures, IF Group Bristol partner many Bristol services on the front line of suicide prevention work. These include Golden Key partners AWP, BDP and Second Step.
Relying on services to change a person’s thinking is dangerous but services can intervene to ensure safety, give support and provide counselling, support to carers and give advice.
It is important to be realistic about what services can and cannot do. There are services available to people who worry that someone they care about is becoming suicidal, there is support and advice available by phone and online. People can contact mental health services for support. If you are worried that someone is in immediate danger, you can call the police and emergency services.
Here in Bristol, the Mental Health Crisis Team are available to take calls from anyone concerned about their own welfare of the welfare of a friend or family member. You can call them on 0300 555 0334.
You can also check our Bristol Services Directory Page for any support services that may offer support locally.
Friendship and time are two resources that often make the difference between unbearable pain and despair and the ability to fight on for people that are at risk of suicide. A phone call, a text message, listening to someone unburden themselves of some of their fears, something as simple as giving someone a few moments of your time to listen can make all the difference. Helping them think about positive aspects of their lives, their qualities, their importance to you can all give a little positivity and hope, shining a light into a dark time.
I hope that World Suicide Prevention Day helps raise awareness not just globally and in the news, but here at home, within Golden Key and Bristol services, and within the local community. I hope that we remember those and give a little hope to those who are close to feeling hopeless.