World suicide prevention awareness : Dr David Crichton

World Suicide Prevention Day officially marked last Friday, is an opportunity to encourage us to talk and spread awareness of suicide prevention.  Being able to spot the signs of distress and suicidal behaviour is the first step in preventing suicide. You don’t need to be an expert to talk about mental health.  Often, just asking if someone’s OK and letting them know you’re listening can give people the confidence to open up about how they’re feeling. Talking to someone makes a big difference and can save lives!

Looking after our mental wellbeing is important and can help us to feel more positive and better able to handle the stresses of life. Different people will be experiencing a range of emotions and responses as we gradually see life lifting from the COVID Pandemic. Some may feel worried and uncertain about the future while COVID rates continue to be high. COVID-19 has had a big impact on people’s mental health and the pandemic has left many of us feeling lonely and unsure of where to go for support. It is important to remember to ask for help and support if you need it.

No-one should feel that they are not important enough to access support for their mental wellbeing. Services are operating and available to anyone who needs help. If you need help or support with accessing services, you could ask a trusted friend or family member to help you get in touch.

National Helplines:

Age UK, in partnership with the NHS, has set up the Talking Helps hub to support people to consider talking therapy to address common health issues such as depression and anxiety disorder, as well as advice on alternatives to therapy. Visit the Age UK website to find out more. 

The NHS Volunteers Service can provide a telephone ‘check in and chat’ if you have mental health issues and are feeling isolated. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) or visit the website.

CALM, Campaign Against Living Miserably run a free and confidential helpline and webchat – 7 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs to talk. CALM challenges stereotypes and stigma, particularly for men and LGBTQ+ who may be struggling with life.

Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Call 0300 123 3393 or visit the website

Samaritans, 24/7 – Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Call 116 123

CRUSE Bereavement Care are a national charity offering online and telephone support. Call 0808 808 1677 between 9.30 – 5.00 Mon-Fri or email for support

The Bereavement Advice Centre provide support for people who have been bereaved. Visit the website  or call 0800 634 9494 Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

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