Suicide prevention, intervention & awareness
P.I.A is an initiative by SOS Silence of Suicide
What are the aims of P.I.A?
P.I.A aims to spread awareness of poor mental health, the obvious, and not so obvious. ways of intervention and what it looks like, and how we can all work to help reduce suicide statistics amongst all groups of people. The 3 steps of P.I.A can be practised individually, but essentially they all combine into one initiative
How do I practise P.I.A (Prevention)
Consciously, or unconsciously, we perhaps practise prevention more than we realise. For example, having more patience generally – whether you’re out shopping, driving, at work, at home. Or extending kindness – a smile, a listening ear, putting someone else first – all of things may seem simple but could make the biggest difference to the day, and life, of someone who is struggling invisibly.
If you encounter someone walking slowly and blocking your progress, or taking their time at the checkout, think why this could be. They may be slow for a reason. Try and put yourself in their shoes.
Helping prevent someone else’s emotional health from dipping can be the difference between them coping or not.
Giving is rewarding. Try keeping a diary of how you may have prevented someone from feeling worse each day – you might be surprised at how many people you have made a difference to.
Acts of prevention are never ending, so if you feel you could do more, try practising an act of kindness, consideration or tolerance every day, not just with people you know, but strangers too.
Never compromise your own safety or that of others.
How do I practise P.I.A (Intervention)?
If you see someone alone, crying, or looking/acting distressed, point them out to someone in authority or a member of staff qualified to help. If there is no-one around, and you believe the person is at serious risk, call 999. Do not be afraid of talking softly to the person. Never compromise your own safety or that of others.
There are lots of courses available in suicide prevention, which cover intervention and awareness. Many of us are afraid of learning about suicide, talking about it and what we would do if confronted with this situation. This is why taking awareness courses are both educational and preparational. Hopefully, you will never need to rely on what you learn, but if you do, these skills will greatly assist you. Try ASIST or SAFETALK if you are interested, as there are courses throughout the UK. Do your own searches on google and look for accredited, peer reviewed courses that could help you gain the knowledge and confidence to cope.
How do I practise P.I.A (Awareness)?
Again, you are probably more aware than you realise, but in today’s hectic society, we sometimes miss seeing things. If we’re busy or running late, we may pass by someone who’s obviously in distress, or disorientated.
By slowing down the pace of life, we are removing stress from ourselves as well as having the luxury of time to take in things that are unfolding in front of us, to observe people and better read possible situations. That allows us the opportunity of being more aware when someone is presenting in a vulnerable manner.
The ASIST and SAFETALK training courses mentioned in intervention may be something you wish to consider taking. They will help your awareness and observation skills