(This was meant to be a “simple” social post for Instagram and Facebook, but since I was writing quite a lot and I think this is a very sensitive and important subject, I’ve decided to also turn it into a blog post, so it is not missed out by my friends at WordPress).
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day 🧡 A few years ago, I spent over a year volunteering at the Samaritans as a listener in their helpline, and these are the 3 key things I learnt about suicide:
1 – Suicide, or suicide thoughts, are way more common than we think. In fact, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country. According to the latest data, males are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than females.
Just because people don’t talk about it, it doesn’t mean it is not there. If anything, the opposite is true… which leads me to the next learning.
2 – Talking is key. Quite often, what leads people to kill themselves is thinking that they are trapped in their situation and there is no way out. If we want to help, the best thing we can do is asking and listening, and then listening some more. This was the key thing we did at the Samaritans, letting people offload their thoughts, emotions and worries. Talking is very healing, and having someone who would be interested in and listen to us is therefore paramount.
3 – If someone does mention suicide, it is important not to avoid the subject, judge the person or not take it seriously. Quite often, talking about it “out loud” helps them to be less likely to carry on with the idea. It is a very scary subject and, precisely because of this, we need to be there with them for support, so they know they are not alone going through this difficult phase in their life.
💙 Keep an eye on your loved ones and let’s be there for each other. There are also plenty of resources to get help from, if you or someone you know is in distress.
Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They’re there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for free.