Suicide is the leading cause of death among people aged from 20-34 and as part of World Suicide Prevention Day, partners from the East Riding are encouraging people to save a life by working together to prevent suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on 10 September and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, Hull City Council, Headstart and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service are working together to help prevent suicide.
Men are nearly three times as likely as women to die as a result of suicide, but the female suicide rate in England is at its highest since 2005.
David M, a trainer from Beverleyexplains the downward spiral:
“My experience is that suicidal feelings crept up on me without me even realising it. I knew I was stressed and felt worthless and guilty, but I never made the connection. My advice to anyone who feels, even for a short time, that they may wish to take their own life, is to not ignore that thought like I did.
“Yes, it feels like the hardest thing to admit (even to yourself) that something doesn’t feel right, but noticing the problem, accepting that it is not your fault, and taking that first step to just say to someone “actually I’m not ok” makes everything so much easier.
“It is not a weakness or a failure to admit that, and there is help available and it genuinely does help.”
Jane S, an administrator from Beverley, has been in this situation herself and is urging people not to give up:
“The first hurdle is to not feel alone; you need to talk and be honest with others, people care. You can start to find a way of valuing yourself and what you do. It takes time and courage, but it can be done. Your opinion counts, because if you feel something, it is real to you so do not let others dismiss it. If the first person does not listen, find someone else like a friend, relative, doctor etc. Do not give up.”
This year, the theme for the day is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’ and to support the national campaign, a number of events and activities are taking place around the East Riding and organisations are encouraging their staff to complete the life-saving training.
Talking Tables launch – Hull City Council
The Talking Tables initiative will be launched at Trinity Market, Hull on Monday 10 September at 11.00am where packs containing information about the services available around mental health will be on offer.
The Samaritans will be located at Beverley train station on Monday 10 September with information on hand from volunteers.
Hull and East Yorkshire Mind
Awareness stands will be in place on Monday 10 September at Asda Bilton from 10am-4pm, Wellington House from 12noon-2pm, St Stephen’s Tesco from 10am-4pm, Old Parcels Office in Bridlington from 10am-4pm, Goole Morrisons from 10am-4pm, East Riding Leisure Withernsea from 10am-4pm and Flemingate Shopping Centre, Beverley from 10am-4pm. Humberside Fire & Rescue crews will be accompanying Mind in the Bridlington Tesco car park as well as supporting them at their stands in Hull.
The awareness stands will contain a range of suicide-related information books; such as Supporting Someone who is Suicidal; Keeping Yourself Safe.
The Reach Out Project
The Reach Out Project supports residents in the East Riding aged 16+ who are experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems and the affect these may have on people’s lives.
Reach Out can offer one-to-one support and advice as well as mental health and wellbeing courses and workshops at various venues across the East Riding of Yorkshire, including weekly workshops in Hessle, Bridlington, Driffield, Pocklington, Withernsea, Goole and Beverley.
For more information about these sessions and workshops or to book a place, call (01482) 240133.
Michelle M, an assistant from the East Riding of Yorkshire, said:
“I began having suicidal thoughts when I had depression. I previously had flitters of these thoughts but not as intensely as when I was diagnosed.
“The thoughts happened at different times, not just when I was on my own. I was having a conversation with my dad once over a cup of tea when I had a sudden change in mood and thought, I could think of nothing else to relieve it but to go upstairs and cut my wrists.
“When it happens, it’s scary, makes you panic and feel guilty. I overcame the thoughts by using a coping mechanism of five seconds - when you are thinking of doing something damaging, count to five and stop immediately and do something else. This works for me, not every time and it might not be for everyone.
“I also spoke more to my doctor and wrote lists or notes to look back on which helped me realise I was making progress and wasn’t a worthless waste of space which my thoughts were telling me!”
Pauline C, a support worker from Bridlington, said:
“In my eyes, my world had fallen apart; I had lost everything and felt unloved, useless, worthless, unwanted and stupid. I had no vision of the future and I knew how I was going to do it. It now feels like it was harder to get help than to do it, but I am glad I did get help.
“You cry and talk and cry some more but with the right help you survive, you are not worthless and you are not alone. The tunnel may seem very long but there is always a light.”
Below are five things that, according to research, can really help to boost mental wellbeing:
Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.
Be active – you don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.
Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.
Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.
Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more in Mindfulness for mental wellbeing.
Lindsay Shelbourn, public health lead for mental health and suicide prevention at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:
“Suicide is preventable, we want to encourage as many people as possible to take the training and get involved, we can all work together to prevent suicide.”
The organisations taking part in the World Suicide Prevention Day partnership will be encouraging the staff within their respective organisations to undertake the Zero Suicide Alliance training at www.zerosuicidealliance.co.uk
World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on one day, but the effects of suicidal feelings can happen at any time to anyone. Suicide can be prevented and avoided if support is available.
To watch a short 20 minute video about how you can help others who are experiencing suicidal thoughts by taking a training course, visit www.zerosuicidealliance.com
If you feel that you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, visit www.mind.org.uk or call (01482) 240200.