Mental Health & Suicide Charity
0300 1020 505 (S/R CALLS)
8PM-mIDNIGHT EVERY NIGHT
SUICIDAL OR STRUGGLING? CALL OUR HELPLINE
If you are having thoughts of suicide and worried you may act upon them, then please get in touch or call 999
Here to help you through those frightening times when your mental health is frail and you feel alone
Suicide – a word no-one wants to see, speak or hear. For reasons that are obvious.
Suicide – a word that is shrouded in stigma, shame and silence.
It’s time we normalised the word. It’s time to start the conversation. And it’s certainly time to continue the conversation.
For as long as people are dying by suicide (over 700,000 per year, globally (WHO), there is work to be done and discussions to be had.
Don’t be shamed into silence as that way, the stigma continues (SOS Silence of Suicide)
One of the most important and helpful things you can do for yourself is to prepare a safety plan, which you can use to help yourself on a daily basis, or just through the really difficult times.
You can include information such as phone numbers for your GPs and others you are able to talk to as well as things you can do that help to distract your mind. It is your personal safety plan and you can fill in whatever details are helpful for you, things that can help to keep you safe.
You can either complete one online, or download and fill it in, whichever way is best for you.
Staying Safe has a wealth of really useful information for people struggling to cope for whatever reason, including a blank or online safety plan for you to complete, either on your own, or with someone else to help you.
If you’re unsure how to complete it, or what you might put in it, you can watch a video of mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin completing his and it might perhaps give you some ideas as to what to include in yours.
You do not have to be experiencing thoughts of suicide to complete a safety plan. In fact, it might be better to prepare your plan when your emotional health is not at its worst. But it is never too late, or too soon, to put one together.
Between suicide and assisted dying
Assisted dying and suicide for many, is the same thing. However, there are major differences and should not be confused
People with terminal illness, or those with progressive degenerative illnesses that will impact their quality of life, and/or life expectancy, may choose to avoid living out their natural life span and instead decide when they will die. It is very often talked about over a period of time, with loved ones, and is a decision not likely taken. As this is not legal in the UK, people are forced to travel abroad to pass away peacefully at a time they, and their loved ones, have chosen. These people generally have no mental incompetency or illness. They simply want the right to choose.
For those who die by suicide, this can be a spontaneous act, or sometimes planned and is usually because someone feels so weighed down and overwhelmed with their problems in life that they feel there is nothing to do to ever feel any better. Some people present with, or have been diagnosed with, mental health illness, but some have not, which adds to the shock for those bereaved by suicide who simply had no idea.
To learn more, a search online is a useful starting point.
NHS MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
The NHS site has an area dedicated on how to look after your mental health.
There are multiple tabs with information and guidance on what to do in most situations, so it’s worth having a look.
It also stresses the importance of looking after your physical self, not just your mental health, keeping your mind and body active and creating a structure to your day, plus lots lots more.
Click HERE to access all their information on mental health resources, for children, young people & adults.
If you’re struggling with poor mental health, then in the first instance try to see your GP. They will be in a position to assess you and talk to you about deciding what, if anything, should be the next level of support you need and which is available to you.
If you’re a child or young person, try to open up to someone you feel you can trust and who you feel safe with. A teacher or a GP will be able to get you a referral to CAMHS for the support you need.
If you’re already under the care of mental health services, you should be able to contact your support worker or a member of the team, so you could use your safety plan as a place to write down this kind of information.
When you are struggling, but not suicidal, dial 111 for mental health support. If you are in crisis, where there is an immediate risk to your life, then please dial 999.
We are open 7 evenings a week between 8pm and midnight if you wish to talk to one of our volunteers. Our calls are currently charged at standard rate and you can reach us by calling 0300 1020 505
UK – Suicide by clinic-referred transgender adolescents
The following paragraph and link is extracted from, and is the copyright of, Michael Biggs 2022
‘Surveys show that adolescents who identify as transgender are vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and self-harming behaviors (dickey & Budge, 2020; Hatchel et al., 2021; Mann et al., 2019). Little is known about death by suicide. This Letter presents data from the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS)’
Bereavement by suicide paper.
For those who’ve experienced the pain and trauma of losing a loved one to suicide, there often appears to be many questions, but few answers, especially when there were no indicators to suggest there was anything wrong.
Complex and multiple emotions and feelings can create confusion, guilt, anger and resentment. It is normal to experience these emotions, but if you are struggling to cope, please reach out to your GP in the first instance.
You may benefit from reading https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e009948
It is an extensive study of over 3000 people who have been bereaved by suicide throughout the UK.
Industrial action is being continued by nurses and ambulance drivers . Regardless of this, you should :
Where there is a risk to life, you should always call 999 regardless of any strike action.
Additionally you can call SOS on 0300 1020 505 between 8pm and midnight, seven days a week.
For more on the planned industrial action within the NHS, and what you should do, please go to:
Across the UK, individuals and families are struggling to cope with rising prices seemingly affecting everything from necessities, such as food and heat, to the occasional treat we might get for ourselves, a friend or one of our loved ones.
Financial pressures can be one of the most stressful periods of anyone’s life and the need for support will be high.
At SOS, we can talk you through the issues you are facing and discuss options and potential means of help that might be available to you.
If you are currently getting into debit with your landlord, your local authority (council tax) or your utility providers, although it is difficult, please contact them as soon as you can. Most creditors are understanding and happy to talk to you and try and work out a realistic payment plan which will help reduce the stress and fear you may be experiencing.
The Citizens Advice Centre provide great services to anyone who needs assistance with most problems and if you have legal issues that require free support, try and find a local law centre in your area who will do their best to help you.
Mental Wellbeing – Self Help Support
Mental Wellbeing Self Help Support 1: Breathing
How often have you either heard, or been told, to ‘take a deep breath’? These aren’t just words said in the absence of anything else to say – taking deep breaths and lowering the pace of breathing can really help us!
We know that at times of stress, distress, anxiety or during panic attacks, our breathing can become much faster and our hearts feel like they are pounding, which can be quite frightening and overwhelming.
But simply learning to control the pace of our breathing can help us regain control, and calm us down.
We checked out content on the Human Givens website, and found a great page on 7/11 breathing techniques and benefits. If you’ve got a moment, click and visit.
”Deep breathing techniques all have one thing in common, they work by stimulating what is known as the Parasympathetic Nervous System. You may have heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response, the Parasympathetic Nervous System is simply the opposite of that (‘fight or flight’ is the term for the activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System) – instead of getting you ready for action, deep breathing activates a natural bodily response that can be described as ‘rest and digest’. Out-breaths decrease your blood pressure, dilate your pupils and slow your heart rate – lowering emotional arousal in the process. Practicing a breathing technique a few times a day will lower your overall stress levels in the long term.” Copyright @HumanGivens
Mental Wellbeing Self Help Support 2:
Time Out For Yourself
It can be really important to have some you time, when you can put to one side the hustle and bustle and escape the general noise of life and create some peace and calm.
Did you know that being alone can help increase your creative thoughts which you could express through things like writing, drawing, painting, even dance! There are some great ways to let those inner feelings and thoughts express themselves.
We learn about ourselves as our lives evolve and one way of progressing this understanding is to have time to just be, by ourselves.
Without the interference of others, you can honestly explore your thoughts and views – ask yourself, ‘What do I really think about ?’ When we don’t have to conform, either in terms of behaviour or the words we speak, we are able to realise what we really feel about the world, and people, around us. It’s about getting to know yourself
Mental Health Self Help Support 3 – Trying something different
It can be hard to challenge yourself when you aren’t feeling at your best, but if you do manage this, it’s so rewarding – the feel good factor alone can help elevate mood and create a real sense of achievement and accomplishment.
So next time you dismiss something because you think you aren’t good enough, put the negatives to one side and give it a go. It could be the start of a brand new you!
When we aren’t in a good place, it’s very ease to feel negative about everything. But we’re all good at some things, so find your good points through a bit of trial and error. You may even have fun doing this.
Mental Health Self Help Support 4 – Communicating through creatives
We know how difficult communicating how you feel can be. But it’s not just spoken words we can use to describe how we are feeling and how good or bad our mental health is.
Arts and crafts, painting, drawing, writing, dancing, film-making – all of these things can provide a much needed outlet and way of you vocalising how you’re feeling – without speaking a word!
Take a look at the image below. What do you think the artist might be feeling when they painted these? Using colour is a great way to convey mood. What do you see? How do the colours and patterns make you feel?