World Suicide Prevention Day - Friday, 10 September

9 September 2021

Suicide is preventable, yet in Cheshire West and Chester, in 2019 there were 28 deaths by suicide (Office for National Statistics).

Friends and relatives of people who die by suicide are at increased risk of taking their own lives, experiencing severe effects on their health and wellbeing, quality of life, ability to function well at work and in their personal lives.

The impact on family, friends, workplaces, schools and communities can be devastating; it carries a huge financial burden for the local economy and contributes to worsening inequalities.

World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 aims to unite organisations and communities to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide.

The theme for 2021 is Creating Hope Through Action. You can help give someone hope by showing that you care. All of us have a role, no matter how small. We never know what we do that makes a difference. We can all reach in and ask somebody. You do not need to tell them what to do or have solutions, but simply making the time and space to listen to someone about their experiences of distress or suicidal thoughts can help.

You may be worried about someone else and unsure how to approach them. If so, here is some guidance for those concerned about another's welfare:
  • Be alert - Not everyone who thinks about suicide will tell someone, but there may be warning signs.
  • Be honest - Tell the person why you're worried about them and ask about suicide. Tell them you want to know how they really are, and that it's OK to talk about suicide.
  • Listen - Just listening is one of the most helpful things you can do. Try not to judge or give advice.
  • Get them some help - There is a wealth of support available via phone, online and text services. Organisations such as The Samaritans, PAPYRUS, CALM, Shout, and The Silver Line are all available to those feeling vulnerable.
Suicides are not inevitable. Every life lost represents someone's partner, child, friend or colleague. Locally we are making good progress, but there is no room for complacency.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said “It is a tragedy that people in crisis feel that they have no other option and find themselves in such a state of distress. We can all play our part to support a person in crisis by following the advice if you are worried. Approaching a person to let them know you are worried, you are there and you will listen, can really help.”

We have been living through particularly tough times recently and the impact that COVID has had on mental health cannot be overstated.

World Suicide Day offers a focus for us all to remember lost loved ones, consider those that they have left behind and think about how we as friends, family, colleagues and as a community can all help prevent more tragic loss. It can be as simple as starting a conversation and asking someone how they feel”.

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