Important steps to combat suicide and mental health

World Suicide Prevention Day is marked on 10th September every year, and aims to raise awareness about improving mental health and the prevention of suicide.

It’s a tragic fact that suicide is so rife in our society, affecting all aspects from business to home life, with a marked effect on younger men and women.

#UN stats show that Suicide kills 800,000 people every year.

▪️ It kills 1 person every 40 seconds
▪️ It is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people
▪️ Almost 4/5 of those deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries

I have put some useful links below and i have added in important suicide hotlines from across the globe at the bottom. Remember you are never alone, no matter how dark times get always reach out.

During Men’s Health Week in June, I referred to the launch of the Heads Up campaign to inspire conversations around men’s mental health, where the Duke of Cambridge quoted that a shocking 75 per cent of suicides are by men.

This article by the BBC examines why suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. It looks at society’s expectations of men, and their reluctance to express their feelings and ask for help.

A quote from Adam Afghan, who has had experience of suicidal thoughts, sums up what needs to be done to turn the tide, “The really courageous thing to do is face your problems, face the pain that you’re suffering.“Trying to fix it, that’s what’s really courageous.”With this in mind, the article signposts some of the places people are able to seek help for mental health issues.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) runs some memorable campaigns encouraging men to support one another with their struggles and events involving art and sport to combat the negativity that can lead to suicidal feeling, as well as offering a phone and webchat service for anyone who needs to talk.

The Movember Foundation is known for its campaigns highlighting a number of health issues affecting men, including suicide prevention, and initiates actions such as running events where men can share their stories while exercising, making it easier to open up.

Its website lists places to go for help and case studies, as well as ideas for how to approach a male colleague, loved one or friend you think may be going through a tough time.

The Samaritans on 116123 or Childline on 0800 1111 can also be contacted for emotional support on the end of the phone.

These issues ring especially true for anyone starting a business, particularly those who might be working alone or in a small business where there is a constant pressure to succeed. 

In fact, a recent Institute of Directors (IoD) report highlighted the lack of help available for the mental health of home or remote workers, and encouraged better guidance on supporting these workers.

These initiatives are all positive and heading in the right direction, but let’s not forget that we all have a responsibility to prioritise our own mental health and look out for others in our community.

If there’s anyone you know who might be struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out, listen and encourage them to seek help…sometimes all it takes is a small step in the right direction to turn someone’s emotional wellbeing around and, ultimately, to save a life.

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