Spot the signs that someone is struggling on World Suicide Prevention Day

Published
10.09.2021

Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership (GSPP) is working to make people more suicide aware, and to spot the signs that someone may be struggling as it marks World Suicide Prevention Day.

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Friday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day, an international event hosted by the Internal Association for Suicide Prevention. The day aims to raise awareness of the cause, as well as preventing suicidal behaviours and alleviating its effects.

Since GSPP, which is led by Gloucestershire County Council, began hosting the Zero Suicide Alliance’s free online prevention training in 2019, some 1,495 people in the county have completed it. The training helps people become aware of the signs that someone might be struggling and gives them the tools to reach out.

Many people struggle to cope at one point or another of their lives. Reaching out to someone could help them know that someone cares, that they are valued, and help them access the support they need.

Everyone copes and reacts in their own way, but Samaritans have put together some signs to look out for, including:

  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling angry and aggressive
  • Feeling tearful
  • Being tired or lacking in energy

Through the GloW Community Grants, the GSPP has allocated £150,000 of funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement’s national Suicide Prevention Transformation Programme since October 2020 to support community led projects and activities across Gloucestershire up to a 3-year period.

These projects and activities include postnatal support, suicide bereavement peer support, youth support, and more. People in high risk groups at risk of poor mental health, self-harm and suicide will benefit from this funding which includes men and older adults, children and young people, as well as those with existing mental health needs, disabilities.

Additional council funding has also been made available to enable one-year funding to be allocated to additional projects includes support for mothers experiencing post-natal depression, men’s sheds groups, and youth groups in rural areas.

Cllr Tim Harman, Cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “We all have a role to play in helping to prevent suicidal behaviour.
“It is important that we all be kind with every person that we meet and can spot the signs that someone might be struggling.
“I would encourage everyone to take up the free online training offered on suicide prevention, as any one of us could make a difference, and save a life.”

John Trevains, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust Director of Nursing, Therapies & Quality, said: “We're raising awareness of suicide and suicide prevention as part of World Suicide Prevention Day, however we are working alongside our partners throughout the year to provide mental health support and help reduce suicide and self-harm within Gloucestershire.

“If someone is suicidal, they are likely to be feeling cut off from people around them, frightened and maybe even ashamed about wanting to die, desperate for help and sometimes afraid to ask.  But help is available right now if you or someone you know needs it need it; you do not have to struggle with difficult feelings alone. Visit our GHC website for information on who to contact in a crisis, or visit the suicide prevention pages at: www.bewellglos.org.uk for more information about the support available.”

Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Suicide Prevention Partnership has developed the ‘It’s safe to talk about suicide’ leaflet to help give people the confidence to engage in a conversation with someone who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide, and provide both support and information to help them stay safe. This is available digitally on the GSPP website.

You can take free Zero Suicide Alliance training and Grassroots suicide prevention training.

Organisations such as Samaritans (Tel: 116 123) and Shout (Text: SHOUT to 85258) offer free 24/7 support to anyone in distress, or struggling to cope.

For more details on what to do if you are worried about someone else, visit the Samaritans website.

You can find out more about the Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership.

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