World Suicide Prevention Day, TimeToTalk, Talk Suicide...
10th September marks World Suicide Prevention Day; A day in which organisations around the world can get together and raise awareness about suicide and how we can all work to prevent it.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), close to 800,000 people die globally from suicide every year; equating to one person every 40 seconds. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. In the UK, every week 125 people take their own lives; 6,500 deaths every year.
In 2020, a day like this is even more vital. Throughout this global pandemic, people all over the world have been affected emotionally by both the uncertainty of the virus and through unemployment, confirmed and potential.
In the UK alone, the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits has more than doubled since March, when the crisis began. The number of employees on UK payrolls fell by 730,000 from March to July, the largest fall in decades, average earnings fell, and the average number of hours fell by a record amount. It has also been recorded that 1.2m people have been placed on furlough.
It can’t be forgotten that those essential workers who have continued to work throughout this pandemic may have also experienced difficulties working through such a stressful time, taking on more work which may be out of their remit due to the lower staff numbers following redundancies and furlough.
The WSPD 2020 falls just days after The Office of National Statistics released distressing figures that the suicide rate for men has reached its highest figure for two decades. This equates to 75% of Suicide Deaths being accountable by Men.
Following on from this, the rate of Suicide in Construction workers is more than three times the national average for men.
Now is the time to check on your friends, colleagues, and family members. To be there for whoever needs it. If you are worried about someone, there are many ways that you can help and make a difference. Samaritans has a guide on the signs that someone may not be ok, and how and when to help. (https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-worried-about-someone-else/how-support-someone-youre-worried-about/)
If you, yourself, are struggling to cope, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. The stigma surrounding mental health needs to be removed, and this starts with us all opening the lines of communication with each other.
It is recorded that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. There are a number of external organisations out there that are dedicated to helping those in need and at 1st Step, we are also available for anyone, even if it is just for a little chat. It’s time to #TalkSuicide and #SmashTheStigma.
Samaritans: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
CALM: 0800 58 58 58 (5pm – Midnight, 356 days per year)
Mind: 0300 123 3393 (9am – 6pm, Monday – Friday)
Construction Industry Helpline: 0345 605 1956 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)