Take a minute to check on someone you love or care for
Torbay’s Public Health Team is supporting World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday 10 September by asking us to take a minute to check on friends and family and to simply ask how they are ‘actually’ doing.
World Suicide Prevention Day is about the global community and encouraging people to engage with each other and to join together to spread awareness of suicide prevention as taking a minute to reach out to someone in your community could change the course of another person’s life. Empathy, compassion, genuine concern, knowledge of resources and services that are available and a desire to help are key to preventing a tragedy.
One reason that stops people from reaching out is the worry of making the situation worse but the offer of support and a listening ear are more likely to reduce distress, as opposed to making things worse. Torbay Cllr Jackie Stockman adds: “We need to look out for those who are not coping. Individuals in distress are often not looking for specific advice. Warning signs of suicide can include: hopelessness, rage, acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking, feeling trapped like there’s no way out, increased alcohol or drug use, withdrawing from others, not making eye contact, anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness and dramatic mood changes. Although sometimes there are no warning signs at so it’s always better to check in just in case. The listening ear of someone with compassion, empathy and a lack of judgement can help restore hope. We can check in with them, ask them how they are doing and encourage them to tell their story. This small gesture goes a long way.”
Across the world, one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide and up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. There are also many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has made an attempt.
If you’re worried about someone please read the ‘It’s safe to talk about suicide’ leaflet: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/ref2014/documents/UoA2_leaflet.pdf
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts please read the ‘Letter of Hope’ which has been written by people in Devon who have been in a similar situation to you:
You can also contact the Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/ or on freephone 116 123
Bob Jope Healthwatch Torbay
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