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World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

Today is internationally recognized as World Suicide Prevention Day. A day to remember those who died by suicide, open up conversations, feel supported, work toward removing stigma around suicide and suicide prevention. This post will highlight what we can do as individuals in supporting those close to us who may be struggling with mental health, how to challenge stigma and why, and finally highlight the support services available.

Stigma

Stigma towards death by suicide and mental health is deep rooted in Irish society. It was only in 1993 that suicide was decriminalized in Ireland as well as 58 other countries, which really is not that long ago. The use of the term “committed suicide” is still widely used for example, which in itself carries many negative connotations in describing it as a criminal offence, even though it is not. This enables the stigma around individuals discussing their suicidal thoughts openly, even though yes, it is only a term used. It’s the changes in our every day conversations and the words/terms we use to discuss suicide or mental health that starts the change and reform of the stigma. With these small changes, it’s a step closer to openness around mental health and suicide prevention.

Please read this piece from the HSE around stigma and what we can do: wspd-bulletin-stigma 

What can we do in our every day life to make a change?

Something as small as asking someone how they are and actually listening to them can make a huge difference to how their day may be going. There is no need to be afraid of the response, someone who needs to talk are looking for just that. The support services are in place to support them after this, sometimes it’s just actually saying it out loud to someone for the first time. In many cases someone who is having suicidal thoughts/struggling with mental health feel isolated and afraid to share with those close to them because of what they may say/think, that’s why listening is most important firstly. After this it’s about reassuring the person that you want to help them and are worried about them. At this point, a conversation around what the person would like to do next and being aware of the support services are important (see below).

It is important to remember that we have come a long way in terms of suicide/mental health support services as well as tackling stigma but it is about keeping that momentum and spreading awareness and support to those close to us and beyond. The end goal is suicide prevention and care to those experiencing mental health difficulty.

Support Services

24 Hour Suicide Hotline: 1800 247 247

Awareness (depression support): 1890 303 302

Console (suicide bereavement support): 1800 201 890

Samaritans: 116 123

Emergency Services: 999 or 112

Supporting someone who might be suicidal: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mentalhealth/supporting-someone-who-might-be-suicidal.html

Education and Support on stigmas around Suicide: https://suicideorsurvive.ie/about/

Pieta Househttps://www.pieta.ie/

National Awareness Campaign tackling stigma: https://seechange.ie/

24/7 Text Line: https://text50808.ie/

 

 

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