Local message of support on World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10, 2021

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, local health experts have created a message of support for people in North Wales

It's important to know that support is available for anyone who feels like they have nowhere to turn to or are feeling suicidal. If you need someone to talk to about how you’re feeling there are support services available.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or feelings the NHS 111 service is on hand to provide free 24/7 advice and support. You may also find it helpful to speak to a free listening service or other support organisation.

Dr Alys Cole-King (Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist) said: “Suicidal thoughts are more common than many people realise. Anyone can have suicidal thoughts and so the key is knowing how to keep yourself safer by being aware of what you can do for yourself and how to seek appropriate support.

“It is important to know that suicide is not inevitable and it’s vital everyone knows how to get through tough times. This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action. Hope is a key part of suicide prevention and sharing hope is something we can all do.

“Although suicide is complex and there is not one single reason for suicide, we do know what can help. It can be hard for someone who is feeling low, struggling or wondering if life is worth living to ask for help. So we all have a role in looking out for those around us, ‘reaching in’ and asking how people really are.

“Whether it’s a thoughtful message, a phone call or asking twice how someone is really feeling, we can help someone who is struggling. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.

It can be difficult to know how to talk to your friends, family or a health professional about suicidal thoughts. But many people feel more supported and less alone after talking to someone.

“For each person, the underlying reasons are different. Many people keep their suicidal thoughts a secret. The reasons why people don’t seek help for suicidal thoughts will differ from one person to the next but may include reasons such as stigma, embarrassment, not knowing who to tell or fear that they will not be taken seriously.

“On the other hand, some may not tell anyone about their suicidal thoughts because no one actually asks them if anything is wrong.  It is therefore vitally important that if you are worried about someone that you respond in a caring and non-judgemental way and have a conversation with them, and encourage them to seek professional help.

“If you think someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, it's important to approach the subject with care and understanding.

“It can be very helpful to just be there and let them know they're not alone. We may never know how much our actions help someone who is struggling but please know that you don’t’ have to be an expert to make a difference. But it's important to remember you may not be able to help them on your own”.

If you’re worried about someone who is feeling suicidal and want to help there are some tips below to try and help the conversation go well:

- Don’t worry if someone doesn’t want to talk yet. They might not be ready and knowing you’re there is useful.
- Try to find a comfortable environment which is free from distractions
- Listening to them and showing a kind and caring approach
- Try not to show shock at what they are saying or feeling and stay calm
- Don’t judge or blame them for their feelings, let the person know you want to support and help them - even if you disagree
- Know that suicidal thoughts or feelings can come from dealing with emotional pain or a difficult situation
- It can be helpful for people to know they have someone they can trust to just listen and try to understand what they are thinking or feeling
- Look at supporting them with safety planning if they feel comfortable talking about it. Safety planning helps to find ways to manage those thoughts and feelings if they happen again.

Here is a list of people to contact if you’re feeling overwhelmed or worried about someone else.

C.A.L.L. Mental Health Helpline for Wales: A 24/7 service offering free emotional support and information/literature on mental health and related matters to people in Wales.

Call: 0800 132 737

Text: 'help' to 81066.

Samaritans: for everyone 24/7

Call: (free): 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org (response time 24 hours)

Samaritans Welsh Language Line: open 7pm-11pm every day

Call: (free) 0808 1640123

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): - 5pm to midnight every day
Call: 0800 58 58 58

Papyrus (up to the age of 35): – 9am – Midnight every day

Call: 0800 068 4141

Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline: 24/7

Call: 0800 1111