MR, Ex Volunteer
Your email filled me with so much happiness and some tears to go with it. Thank you for always being so lovely and believing In me, everyone needs someone like you in their life.
I feel like you gave me an opportunity that really helped me get where I am today and build my interpersonal skills and confidence and for that I will forever be grateful. Its lovely to stay in touch with you.
Thank you for all your lovely words, they really do mean so so much.
I will forever remain grateful and happy to of met someone like you, you should feel really proud of yourself for the charity but ultimately being someone so compassionate and friendly.
I really hope one day when I am a lot less busy, I can come back and help.
Thank you again for being you, and believing in me. You are one of a kind.
One of our regular callers
“Hi hope you and Michael are well. I hope you don’t mind me messaging you. I just really wanted to say thank you so much to you and your volunteers. You are all amazing. **** is a diamond and a life saver, she is one in a million. Everyone has helped me so much. I am very grateful and lucky. Thank you for never turning your back on me any of you”
Next Plc – One of our corporate partners & sponsors
“As Group Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager at Next I have had the privalage to work closely with Yvette and Michael at SOS Silence of Suicide over the last 2 years. We have hosted a number of SOS events in our offices and warehouses where they have provided critical support and guidance to those considering or touched by the effects of suicide. Some of those involved have gone on to volunteer as Mental Health first Aiders in the workplace. ”
Statement from Nick Syson, Health & Wellbeing Champion and Partner within the Banking Practice, Linklaters LLP London
“As part of our Health & Wellbeing programme’s focus on Mental Health we hosted a ‘Silence Of Suicide’ session.
This was the first time the firm addressed this topic, and the large turnout on the day proved how important it is to talk about and openly recognise suicide.
During the seminar Michael shared the tragic story of his daughter’s suicide and both him and Yvette spoke about SOS’s aim to address the ‘elephant in the room’, raising awareness and encouraging conversations about suicide.
As one attendee said: ‘It was an open forum with frank discussion.’
Michael and Yvette were described as ‘open and relatable’ and the audience appreciated that their candour in ‘talking about an issue that we all face and should discuss.’
The ‘Silence Of Suicide’ film which accompanied the session was described as very poignant and it was received in a spirit of empathy, kindness and interest.
We as a firm believe that we benefited immeasurably from the Silence of Suicide session.
It has encouraged us to break down barriers and start the conversation on a topic that needs more talking about”
One of our current volunteers:
The British Dental Association’s Branch President in Northern Ireland, Martin Curran, recently hosted an evening seminar on stress and suicide in Belfast along with Michael Mansfield QC and Yvette Greenway, co-founders and trustees of the charity SOS Silence of Suicide.
Interacting with patients in the surgery as well as colleagues in dentistry can help both sides in identifying mental well-being issues, Yvette said.
The important thing is to talk about it.
“It can be like lighting a touch paper. It may create a two-way exchange that is beneficial to both sides. Once people realise they can speak freely, without being judged, open and honest discourse follows easily. Some people just want to listen, others simply wish to be heard,” she said.
“We need to be looking after our colleagues. Suicide is the ultimate in terms of stress. It can build until they just can’t see a way out”
Martin Curran, BDA Northern Ireland
Yvette explained that SOS started as a support group, travelling all over the country and inviting people with an interest or who had been affected by the issue to come along and share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. As well as dentists, the charity has held sessions with lawyers and in schools and prisons.
SOS is the only charity she is aware of that brings together anyone affected by this issue, including those bereaved by suicide or contemplating it and individuals who have attempted to take their own lives.
“Being a dentist can actually be quite a solitary job, with patients coming through every few minutes. It can feel quite isolating”
Michael and Yvette on the back of their meeting with Theresa May, attended No 10 Downing Street to meet with the Deputy Head of Policy where we discussed many aspects surrounding mental health and wellbeing and in particular the need for preventative measures in relation to suicide, alongside the role employers and educational establishments could play to encourage positive mental wellbeing within their respective arenas, and how they may best manage critical situations vulnerable individuals may encounter.
Again, the uniqueness of the SOS model was discussed – the simple, yet highly effective platform we provide nationally for people to unburden themselves and to network with others in the same/similar situation cannot be under-estimated and the DHP agreed with us that face to face communication clearly had benefits. Much of what Michael and I discussed was directly related to what YOU, the supporters of SOS tell us – what you discuss at the meetings, the changes you feel need to happen, the failures and non-delivery of services to those who need them – all this has been discussed, so thank you , every one of you, for your feedback.
Our input yesterday will be used to feed into the Government’s suicide prevention policy and there are more discussions to be had with DHP.
Thanks to Met Police displaying our posters in some custody suites, we’re now able to reach even more people to support their emotional health at a time that can be emotionally challenging for many people and their friends and families
From one of our crisis line callers (October 22)
A beautiful poem sent to the volunteers and team at SOS by one of our callers we have been given permission to share with you anonymously. Thank you to our amazing volunteers for making our callers feel as precious and valuable as they do.
The Silence Of Suicide,Is where the dark thoughts reside, Can’t open up and say, That we need life to go away. You don’t need to save our souls, Or help us focus on life’s goals, You help make today feel okay, So tomorrow we can stay. Help us through the unbearable pain, Treat us with dignity, not shame, You’re a soft place to fall, When we have really given it our all. You remind us that hope is there, If only just because you care, When we really have nothing to give, You remind us it’s possible to continue to live. I can’t tell you how many times, You have stopped me crossing the line, The line between life and death, The line that is my last breath. Gentle encouragement that doesn’t overwhelm, A reminder not to let fear take the helm, I wipe the tears in my eyes, Sure I will see tomorrow’s sunrise.