'SOS is about building individual and collective resilience, empowering everyone to recognise their own self worth'
Phone Lines Monday - Sunday 4pm until Midnight (UK Only) Standard Rate Call. Email Support - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am until Noon only. Contact: email@example.com For children and adults who need emotional support, understanding, compassion & kindness
SOS - Created in Warwickshire, supporting your emotional wellbeing nationally
What, Where, Why - Some more about us
OUR THEME FOR 2021 IS #COMPASSIONINSOCIETY
SOS Silence of Suicide was formed as a social support group in 2015 and became a Charity in 2017 following Michael and Yvette’s multiple lived experiences of losing loved ones to suicide.
Yvette has also suffered from depression and anxiety as a direct result of sustained domestic abuse, online harrassment and physical medical issues. Click to read Yvette’s story.
In short, Michael and Yvette have the lived experiences that enable them to fully understand the complexities of mental wellbeing, mental health and suicide.
We are based in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, which is also home to our first ever SOS meeting. However, we operate on a nationwide basis and have hosted meetings in most areas of the country – from London to Edinburgh, Coventry to Manchester, Stratford Upon Avon to Huddersfield, Leicester to Sussex to name a few.
Although initially set up with a firm focus on discussions around suicide, our changing world, with increased and new uncertainties, has meant we now host discussions on emotional health generally. There’s more about this further down.
What Do We Do?
We were formed as a social support group initially in 2015 following the loss of two loved ones to suicide. We became a registered Charity in 2017.
Our core focus is to provide free (to the public) group meetings in a safe physical space, or online, where anyone affected by suicide can talk openly and honestly about their thoughts of this still taboo subject. Our aim is to reduce, and eventually eradicate, people’s feelings of shame, stigma and silence that surround not only suicide, but all mental health conditions, meaning that many people still feel unable to say how they really feel.
We are unique in bringing EVERYONE affected by suicide, whether they be bereaved, having thoughts of suicide, or have attempted suicide, together into one safe space to talk about their feelings and experiences.
‘SOS is about building individual and collective resilience, empowering everyone to believe in their own self worth’
Yvette Greenway-Mansfield, CEO, SOS
Whether our meetings are public or private, the content of these discussions has broadened tremendously since our inception, when the focus was fully on suicide. We now discuss, in depth, some of the many reasons that can lead someone to have thoughts of suicide, or to attempt it.
Covid19 has destabilised the mental wellbeing of many people. When you ‘don’t feel the same’ or ‘don’t know who you are anymore’ these feelings can be frightening and lead to feelings of isolation.
We also have discussion input from people who do not class themselves, and have not been diagnosed as having, poor mental health, but still wish to end their lives by suicide. The reasons for this are multiple, but include not understanding the ‘purpose’ of life, feeling a sense of hopelessness (but not necessarily despair or depression) and those with terminal illnesses who wish to choose when and how they will pass away.
Wishing to end one’s life by suicide should not automatically create an assumption that poor mental health exists.
There can be many reasons for fragile mental health – financial and work concerns, domestic abuse victims, the elderly who may live alone, in care or have mobility restrictions, those in isolated professions or geographical areas, single parents struggling to cope on their own, young people and the pressures and changes they encounter as they grow up, victims of bullying, ex service and military personnel, those meeting prejudice because of their sexuality and gender, or trying to come to terms with it themselves, ethnic minorities – the list is endless.
Where Do We Host our Discussions
Until recently all of our meetings were physical group events. We have had to amend the way we deliver our services since Coronavirus visited our world.
Our ‘Listening Line’ Support Service, giving users the opportunity to call us between 4pm and midnight, 7 days a week. Our number is:
0300 1020 505 (standard rate call) UK ONLY, FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN AGED 12 PLUS
You can talk about your emotional health or simply call us if you want someone to talk to.
We also host online zoom meetings – check our events page regularly for details and dates.
**IF YOU’RE AN EMPLOYER: Talk to us about our confidential, group talking and listening sessions that we can provide for your stafff. Whatever size your business, we can host online meetings for up to 100 staff members at a time. This service is currently in place of our physical meetings due to Covid-19 and its impact.
Consider using our services if you’re just starting to implement mental health support in the workplace or to complement your existing mental health support protocols. You can contact us via our Corporate Page.
We believe that communication – that is speaking and listening – to others who have experienced similar situations to yourself, is key in helping people work to improve their mental wellbeing. There is a saying ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ and there is no doubt that talking with others that understand helps lessen the burden people carry. At the heart of everything we do is the desire to reduce shame, stigma and silence.
Just some of the feedback from our users includes:
‘Thank you so much for listening to me, I feel better for talking’
‘Thank you for everything you do. Your services are vital’
‘I’ve never talked to anyone about how I feel before. You’re the first person. Thank you so much’
‘Talking to me has given me some self help ideas for times when I feel really bad’
‘I’ve just managed to get out of bed and it’s thanks to you, you’ve given me the ability to do this’
Everyone is vulnerable, especially right now when the world as we know it has changed, bringing mental health fragilities to those who have never before experienced them and an escalation of poor mental health for vulnerable people who were already struggling.
The shame, stigma and silence that surrounds not just suicide, but mental health generally, is something we are passionate about changing. No one should feel judged. No one should feel awkward. No one should feel isolated because of their poor mental health.
For as long as it takes, we will continue to support everyone and anyone who needs our help