Suicide Prevention Day: How To Reach Out To A Friend Or Family Member You're Concerned About

10 September 2020, 12:56

10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day
10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. Picture: Getty

10 September marks Suicide Prevention Day, aiming to start the conversation about suicide and to show recovery is possible.

According to charity Samaritans, in 2018 there were 6,859 suicides in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, with men three times as likely to die by suicide than women in the UK.

World Suicide Prevention Day aims to open up discussions about suicide and show recovery is possible, and there are a number of ways to reach out to someone you may be concerned about.

The NHS and mental health charities such as Mind offer a list of advice in offering support to someone you’re worried about – here are few tips on how you can reach out.

- Let them know you’re there. Many people worry that reaching out will feel intrusive or make things worse, but Samaritans advise letting someone know you’re there for them even if they don’t want to open up.

- Listen to what they have to say The most important thing to do at this stage is to listen, not try to solve their problems.

Samaritans’ tips include; show you care by giving them their full attention, have patience, use open questions that need more than a yes or no answer, check you understand what they’ve told you, and have courage.

- Small gestures such as asking ‘how are you today?’ can make a big difference in how someone is feeling.

- Charity Rethink advise contacting mental health professionals or the emergency services if someone is in a crisis.

- Helping someone with suicidal thoughts is likely to affect you, find out what support is available to you.

For more help and advice, contact Samaritans at samaritans.org or on 116 123.