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September is World Suicide Prevention Month

Updated: Sep 14, 2021


Can't see the wood for the trees?


Did you know that talking about suicide cannot make someone suicidal? I find that many clients struggle to talk about suicidal thoughts with their loved ones. However, it can be a relief for them to express the deeply distressing feelings around whether life is worth living. Stigma around suicide plays a large role in why people do not reach out for help.


It is not uncommon for people to have times in their lives where they experience suicidal ideation. This is where thoughts focus on purpose and meaning in life. Questions arise around whether others' lives would be better if they weren't alive. This can be very distressing and can be a sign of depression or a result of anxiety. The instinct is to try and be positive when speaking with a loved one with mental health concerns, for fear of it getting worse. Have you considered that being able to communicate honestly with those around you is actually a way to manage suicidal ideation? If you feel able to reach out on the days that are the darkest, and believe there is support for your situation, it is less likely that you will act on the thoughts. It is vital that you listen without judgement, connection and conversation are the keys to helping those who are vulnerable to suicide. We know that sharing, bringing hope, caring and compassion help us to feel good about our world.


It is through honest discussions that you can assess whether someone has suicidal plans. These are where someone is actively planning how they might carry out their suicide. This can be very distressing for friends and family to hear. It is important to reach out for professional support. By contacting their GP, calling 111 or take them to A&E. Even in these difficult times Crisis Teams have still been working to assess and support someone in crisis.


If you are feeling suicidal and haven't been able to reach out to someone close to you there are professionals who can help. Samaritans is available 24/7 call 116 123, it is confidential and a good place to start. They can help you decide how to keep safe and access medical support. Counselling can also be a safe space to explore your difficult and overwhelming emotions. Counsellors are trained to work with these feelings and support you with getting the help you need. This might also require a referral for specialist support. Together they might write a Safety Plan with you so that you have information to hand if your mood changes.


Remember feelings can pass and you can develop resources to cope. By increasing these resources you are able to reduce the pain you are experiencing.


Websites with helpful information for Suicidal Thoughts:


Get Self Help

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/CopingSuicidalThoughts.pdf


Samaritans

https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-worried-about-someone-else/supporting-someone-suicidal-thoughts/


Mind

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/helping-yourself-now/


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