World Suicide Prevention Day and London wide ‘zero suicide city’ campaign
Did you know September 10th 2019 was World Suicide Prevention day? In 2017 there were 5821 suicides in the United Kingdom with men making up three quarters of people who have killed themselves. Middle aged men in particular are at greater risk of dying by suicide with a combination of factors such as low income, money problems, relationship breakdown, poor mental health and generational attitudes about talking about problems all contributing to risk. Other groups at risk of suicide includes young people aged 15-19, vulnerable groups such as care leavers and people living with a mental health condition. Each suicide doesn’t just affect one person (think families and friends who are bereaved as well as wider work colleagues and neighbours/social networks) with an estimated 20 people each affected for every suicide.
Across London the Greater London Authority (GLA), Councils and health partners are working with the aspiration that London becomes a zero suicide city and the belief that suicide is preventable.
This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “working together to prevent suicide”. What does this mean? It could mean asking a Saturday football team mate if they are okay when you think they are in trouble - to engaging a stranger on a train platform in small talk – the Samaritans advert on You Tube demonstrates how this can help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiynAdEuyWQ
Across London this week Mayor is launching London’s ‘zero suicide city’ campaign, #ZeroSuicideLDN, and encouraging 100,000 Londoners to take the Zero Suicide Alliance on-line training. This is 20 minute training video you can access at https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/. It is one thing you can do today to take action on suicide and raise awareness* .
*You should note the training subject matter may be challenging especially if you have been bereaved by suicide -so you may want to do the training when you have a friendly face around to talk to afterwards.