Each year over 800,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. Behind each of these statistics are individual stories of those who have, for many reasons, questioned the value of their lives.
The theme for the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day is:
‘Take a minute, change a life ‘
As members of communities it is our responsibility to look out for those that may be struggling, check in with them and encourage them to tell their stories at their own pace and in their own ways. Offering gentle support and listening without being judgemental can make all the difference. Many of those who have lived through a suicide attempt describe actively seeking someone who would sense their despair and talk and listen to them, but sadly often no one does.
People are often reluctant to intervene, even when concerned about someone. Much of this is through fear of not knowing what to day. It is important to remember that:
No one has all the answers
Individuals who have been through an episode of severe suicidal thinking often say that they were not looking for specific advice, but compassion and empathy from others helped to point them towards recovery. People often think that speaking about suicide may make the situation worse, this hesitation is understandable but there is no evidence that talking about suicide initiates an attempt. The evidence actually suggests that caring and listening are far more likely to reduce distress than exacerbate it.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention invites you to light a candle near a window at 8pm on 10th September to show your support for suicide prevention, remember a lost loved one and for the survivors of suicide.
Find out more at: https://iasp.info/wspd2017/