First of all, to start this post I wanted to throw some hard facts at you about suicide in 2017 just to emphasise how important it is that we make suicide a more talked about subject in the present day and for the future. (These facts were sorced from the Samaritans website where they also offer support.)
- 6,188 suicides were registered in the UK and 451 in the Republic of Ireland in 2017 only.
- The highest suicide rate in the UK was that for men aged 40-44 years old.
- The highest suicide rate in the Republic of Ireland was for men aged 25-34 years old which was actually almost identical to that for men aged 45-54 years old.
- Suicide rates in the UK have increased in the UK by 3.8%: England by 2%, Wales by 61.8% and Northern Ireland by 18.5% since 2014.
- Suicide rates in Scotland have decreased by 1.4% and the Republic of Ireland by 13.1% since 2014.
- In England, female suicide rates are at the highest they have been in a decade.
- Male rates remain consistantly higher than female suicide rates across the UK and the Republic of Ireland- most notably 5 times higher in the Republic of Ireland and around 3 times in the UK.
Shocked? Yes? Me too. Lets join hands to prevent suicide- reach out to your loved ones and strangers, ask how they are and mean it.
Not only is it World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 but September is Suicide Prevention Month, so this month is especially important to make people aware of the suicide rates and how real it is.
Across the world nearly 800,000 people commit suicide each year which is one person every 40 seconds according to the World Health Organisation. That is every 41 seconds that a family is broken by something that could have been prevented- just to clarify, this is no way me saying that suicide is selfish, it is me wanting to make suicide a more okay subject to discuss because as we all know, talking helps. This number doesnt even include people that attempt suicide but fortunately do not succeed- does that not hit you hard? 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands of people think about attempting suicide.
I think what makes suicide such a hard hitting subject is that you literally could never know that someone is suicidal just by looking at them. There are no warning signs- alarms saying this person needs help. The only alarm of warning is their voice and if they dont feel like it is something they can talk about it can have disasterous consequences. ANYONE can have a suicidal thought, so before you say that suicide is selfish, it could be you, it could be anyone. You could one day be so happy and the next day that could all change. You may find no reason to carry on and you could find yourself being suicidal. No one would ever choose to be. We were all given a life, we all just want to be happy but when that cannot be achieved and we see no hope in the future, we want to find the nearest exit.
Suicide IS NOT selfish. Suicide is most definitely a last resort for someone. When you're rocking side to side in a corner of your room at 4am, when you're suicidal, you're not thinking about who you would hurt if you left the earth- you are thinking about yourself. For once, your number one priority is yourself. If you were not struggling, there may not be a reason to be suicidal. You do not just attempt suicide for the fun of it, to upset a few family members and friends. There are issues deep down that need to be dealt with and help is needed to achieve a healthier happier self. Until you have been in the head of someone who is suicidal, or you have been suicidal yourself I dont think you can really appreciate how hard it is for someone who is experiencing these thoughts.
Although sometimes there are signs that someone is suicidal, many times there is not. Some suicide warning signs are obvious, others not so. The 3 most high risk factors are: obviously threatening to end ones life, talking/writing about death, suicide ect and actively looking for ways to end their life, e.g. googling how. A few less obvious warning signs include: feeling hopeless, becoming reserved and detached from everyone, feeling trapped, sudden bursts of anger, acting recklessly, gain/loss of weight, over/under eating, withdrawal from everything, anxious/agitated, unable to sleep/sleep all the time, loss of interest in things that they would usually love and sudden mood changes. If you notice any of these things in someone, ask them how they are, if they're really okay. If they open up, take the time to listen, offer help, offer to get help with them, give them a hug if they are willing and never stop supporting them, please.
What can I do you ask? 'Take a minute, change a life,' is the theme of this year. Message someone, ask them if they are okay. Tell people you are there for them. Send a tweet, write a facebook status- anything you can do to let people know that you are there for them.
If you yourself are struggling, here are a few things you can do:
- Message me: I will try to support you in any way that I can via social media. (I will leave ways to contact me below.)
- Talk to a member of your family, a friend, or just someone you can trust, like a teacher. (Teachers normally have to tell someone higher than themselves who then will most likely ring your parents.)
- Call Samaritans: 116 123. They offer a 24 hour service available every day of the year.
- Email Samaritans: firstname.lastname@example.org if you arent comfortable with talking on the phone.
- Call Childline: 0800 1111. This is a service for children and young people which is completely free and the number wont show up on your phone bill.
- 1-2-1 chat on Childline: go to their website, log in and enter chat. A childline counsellor will connect to you soon after. There is also a hide bar which you can click if a parent or someone enters the room and it takes you to google so they dont know what you are doing.
- Talk to a doctor, a mental health care professional or another care professional.
- If you are a risk to yourself, please take yourself to A&E to get yourself some help because you will be safe there and hopefully will get the appropriate care you need.
(There are so many more helplines ect which you can find on google if you just type it in!)