World Suicide Prevention Day 2023
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th September we are encouraging people not to be afraid to talk about suicidal thoughts and feelings if they are worried about someone, as well as highlighting the importance of the language we use when we talk about suicide.
Every 90 minutes, someone in the UK or Ireland takes their own life.
In February 2023 we sadly lost Jeff Massie – one of TXM Plant’s longest-serving Machine Operators, a genuinely warm character, and a great friend to many. Jeff, his family, and his friends remain in our hearts, and that’s why this year we have donated to the Samaritans to help those who are struggling to cope.
Evidence shows that asking someone if they’re suicidal doesn’t make things worse, it can protect people, as it provides a crucial opportunity to open up, express their feelings, and seek help.
If someone does let you know they are having suicidal thoughts, always take them seriously. You don’t have to be an expert, just being there to listen and showing you care can help them work through what’s going on. Let them know they’re not a burden and there’s always someone they can turn to – whether it’s a family member or friend, or a 24/7 helpline like Samaritans and Mind.
Using the right language around suicide is also important, and key to breaking down stigma. When we use our words carefully, we can create a safe environment for people to open up.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to remember:
Don’t share or repost anything that talks about suicide or self-harm in an unsafe way online.
Do report content you think might be harmful.
Do post sources of support and share stories of hope and recovery.
Don’t mention the method or location of a suicide; there’s evidence that this can lead to further suicides.
If you’re worried about someone, do ask if they’re feeling suicidal, and help them get the support they need.
Don’t use language that could come across as judgmental. For example, ‘don’t do anything stupid’.
Don’t say committed suicide. ‘Committed’ suggests suicide is illegal, which it isn’t.
Do say took his/her/their own life or died by suicide.
It’s OK to ask about suicidal thoughts. It could save a life. If you feel anxious about asking someone if they’re suicidal and worried about saying the wrong thing, just being there and letting someone know you care can help. You can read more advice on the Samaritans website here.
Remember, you’re not alone. Samaritans is there day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgment or pressure. If you’re struggling, you can contact Samaritans any time of the day or night by phoning 116 123 or emailing jo@Samaritans.org