Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Why we should be Preventing Suicide Every Day

I am sure that many of you are aware that World Suicide Prevention Day for this year took place on Tuesday 10th September. It is no secret that mental health conditions are on the rise due to many different factors in todays society but there is more awareness surrounding mental health than ever before and although they may be underfunded and staffed, there is more mental healthcare services available. However, Suicide rates are also on the rise, especially within the UK and I think we need to be talking about this topic everyday, not just on one specific day of the year which is why I purposely haven't published this post on World Suicide Prevention Day. 

According to Samaritans, in the UK there were 6859 deaths by Suicide throughout 2018 and the number of deaths from Suicide increased by 11.8% over one year. Within the UK, men are three times more likely to die by Suicide than woman are and despite the highest number of Suicides being of men aged between 45 and 49, Suicide rates for individuals under the age of 25 has increased by 23.7%, again over the course of a year. These statistics are terrifying, there are so many people not only across the country but across the entire world that are being failed by healthcare systems, that are too afraid to speak out and ultimately that feels that there is no other way out than by taking their own lives. 

I find it frustrating that deaths by Suicide are on the increase yet nobody seems to be trying to do anything about it apart from charities. Surely the government should be able to see that this is a growing problem and that our country is in the middle of a massive mental health crisis but apparently they have better things to spend their money on. As somebody who has been suicidal and has attempted to take their own life numerous times, I can't help but empathise with these poor individuals who have lost their lives but on the other hand, I am happy that they finally found their peace and that they no longer have to suffer but I also know the impact that Suicide has on other people and I have seen how it can tear entire families apart and ruin loved ones. I think one of the key messages that needs to be promoted is that if somebody ends their life by Suicide, they were not being selfish because when you're in a suicidal frame of mind, you often feel that your loved ones would be better off without you and that you'd no longer be a burden to them.

Don't get me wrong, World Suicide Prevention Day is incredible, it gets people talking about the subject and every year I feel that the world is becoming more understanding but I hate how on that one specific day of the year, everyone is sharing advice, facts, statistics and personal stories yet the following day it is almost forgotten, as though it never happened. It is like people feel that it is ok to speak up on an international prevention day but not at any other time when in reality, nobody should ever feel ashamed to speak up. I know that it can be so difficult to speak up, but mental health conditions are so common nowadays and mental health is everywhere, although there is still some stigma surrounding the subject, it is nothing like how it used to be and there is always a chance that your own advice or personal story could help or even save the life of somebody else.

For those who suffer from mental health conditions, there is always ups and downs and sometimes we have more manageable 'downs' and other times we feel that we have hit absolute rock bottom, but whenever I feel that I am at rock bottom I remind myself that I have been here before, that I know it can't last forever and that I have survived it before so I can survive it again. Obviously, this doesn't always work because I cannot explain how crippling and destroying mental illness can be and often, taking your own life does feel like the only option but if you make that decision then how are you going to know that things could have gotten better? 

We need to continue to talk and continue to allow people to feel that it is ok to share their problems with others, they say that a problem shared is a problem halved no matter how guilty it may make you feel. Let's continue to talk about suicide prevention throughout the entire year instead of just on one day, we never know who may need to see it and who could benefit from it. 

If any of you ever feel that there is no other way out, then please speak out, it is so important and you never know what may be right around the corner. You can talk to anybody, it could be a relative, a friend, a stranger or even a healthcare professional just please don't suffer alone. My contact details are always available on my blog if anybody ever needs a chat.


Keep safe, continue to speak up and remember that bad days can't last forever.

Useful contacts for within the UK:

Samaritans: Tel: 116123 (Around the clock), Website: samaritans.org
Mind: Tel: 03001233393, Website: mind.org.uk
Papyrus: Tel: 08000684141, Website: papyrus-uk.org
CALM: Tel: 0800585858, Website: thecalmzone.net
ChildLiine: Tel: 08001111, Website: childline.org.uk
Kooth: Website: kooth.com
YoungMinds: Tel: 08088025544, Website: young minds.org.uk
The Mix: Tel: 08088084994, Website: themix.org.uk
Maytree: Tel: 02072637070, Website: maytree.org.uk


Thank-you for reading, Tay x

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