Thursday 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day. Last week, The Office of National Statistics published the statistic for suicides in the England and Wales in 2019 which showed a total of 5691 suicides. Males continue to account for three-quarters of suicide deaths in 2019. Suicide prevention remains a major challenge for us all.

It’s no surprise that lockdown, furlough and the pandemic has had a serious negative mental health impact on many people. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we look out for others and for ourselves during this time. Preventing suicide is possible and we are all key players in its prevention. You can make a difference in your community or workplace. This page form the National Suicide Prevention Alliance has a range of ideas on ways of connecting: NSPA.

Throughout 2019 and 2020 MHM have already delivered nine sessions of the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), which have been attended by over 100 members of staff who are now ready, willing and able to reach out and support a person at risk of suicide. This has of course been halted since lockdown but we have every intention of resuming this as soon as is safe to do so.

Nearly 400 of our staff have also completed the online Suicide Prevention training course provided by the Zero Suicide Alliance. If you haven’t yet completed it, or need to refresh, this week would be the ideal time to do so.

Remember suicide is preventable and we can all play our part in achieving this.

“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.

If you would like further information about how MHM can support you or your organisation please contact our Learning & Development team at [email protected] or phone 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.