World Suicide Prevention Day

Date: 09 September 2015

World Suicide Prevention Day is an International Association for Suicide Prevention Initiative; this year the theme is about reaching out to people who are experiencing difficulties and understanding that getting in touch with someone or asking how they are, can make a difference. There are many examples where support given to a person who is contemplating suicide has prevented early death.

Somerset Partnership staff and visitors to Holly Court, Summerlands site, Preston Road, Yeovil are being asked to make a pledge to reach out to people who are having a difficult time.

Carolyn Smith, Somerset Partnership’s South Somerset Divisional Manager and Chair of Somerset’s multi-agency Suicide Prevention Advisory Group explained:

“Suicide often follows a complex series of distressing events and circumstances, such as financial difficulties, relationship break down and chronic physical illness. When someone dies from suicide, the effect on family, friends and others is devastating. But suicide is not inevitable and suicide prevention activities can help.

“That is why we are hosting our lunchtime event in Yeovil. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to think about what they can do to reach out and offer support to people who are experiencing difficulties. Suicidal thoughts as well as depression, low mood and low self-esteem can be difficult to talk about; coupled with the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness, this can add to a sense of intense isolation."

Edward Colgan, Chief Executive of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the initiative and said:

“Suicide is a major cause of premature death. In Somerset there is a death every 8 days. In England, only around a quarter of people who die from suicide are in contact with mental health services and 1 in 5 people have experienced suicidal thoughts during their lives. It is vital that we all try to reach out to those at risk and that is why World Suicide Prevention Day is so important.”