This year the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has decided to make “suicide prevention” the main theme of World Mental Health Day. In September 2019 The Office of National Statistics published the statistic for suicides in the UK in 2018 which showed a total of 6507 suicides, an 11.8% increase on 2017. Males continue to account for three-quarters of suicide deaths in 2018. Globally, every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. Suicide prevention remains a major challenge for us all.

Preventing suicide is possible and we are all key players in its prevention. You can make a difference in your community or workplace. Throughout 2019 MHM have already delivered five sessions of the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), which have been attended by 60 members of staff who are now ready, willing and able to reach out and support a person at risk of suicide. We also have another 55 waiting for future sessions. Over 300 of our staff have also completed the online Suicide Prevention training course provided by the Zero Suicide Alliance.

The recent increase in the number of deaths by suicide tells us we all need to continue working hard to reach those at risk of suicide and support them to find safety. Helping a person at risk move away from suicide and towards life can be a big responsibility but it is also a great privilege.

“Delivering Suicide Prevention training such as ASIST is a great honour, knowing that the knowledge people gain can go on to help others out of a very dark place. It is one of the best aspects of my role” – Neil Gregory, L&D Officer.

MHM are holding a number of events across the country today, visit the events page for more information or follow us on twitter.

If you would like further information about how MHM can support you or your organisation please contact our Learning & Development team at [email protected] orphone us on 0191 516 3500.

Remember, if you think someone you know is at risk of suicide - for example, they talk about a specific plan for harming themselves or post something that seems like a goodbye/suicide note – contact The Samaritans at any time of day, on 116 123, or [email protected]. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, contact the emergency services on 999.