Avoiding the S word
Ask the question “Are you thinking about suicide?” Ask them. Ask them directly. You could save their life. It’s a difficult question to ask – but one that you learn to ask by the end of the course.
Do you discuss suicide in your family? Would you have the courage to ask the right questions in a friendly, loving and direct way?
Grassroots wants suicide to be part of a conversation – that can help people to stay alive. We at Sibling Link, have just completed the SafeTALK Suicide Alertness For Everyone course and highly recommend it to anyone who feels this would give them the tools to be able to recognize signs that someone may be thinking of taking their own lives.
Two thirds of people who take their own life aren’t known to the mental health services. We lose 6,000 people a year in our country. Every forty seconds on this planet somebody takes their own life.
It is important to acknowledge the level of stigma that still surrounds suicide. If someone is feeling suicidal, they may not be able to bring it up if their religion, work or family has (without necessarily knowing) created a taboo surrounding it.
Grassroots offer a practical step by step guide on how to approach a very difficult subject:
“With SafeTALK – Know what to do if someone’s suicidal by following the easy to remember TALK steps – Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep-safe. These practical steps offer immediate help to someone having thoughts of suicide and helps you both move forward to connect with more specialised support”.
Including the subject in conversation will have a huge impact on people feeling less isolated and normalizing how they are feeling. Grassroots want to quash the myth that you are going to put the idea of suicide into somebody’s head – and want you to have the courage to ask directly about these thoughts if you have concerns.
Anyone can sign up to the course SafeTALK here (https://www.prevent-suicide.org.uk/training-courses/safetalk-suicide-alertness/) – it can help you to feel capable to talk about suicide and give you the language to use, the questions to ask and the signs and ‘ invitations’ that people might give out that show they might need to talk.
Christmas time is a really hard time for those who have lost someone to suicide and those who are struggling with their mental wellness- If you are concerned about someone then here are some resources that might be able to help you;
NHS 111 call 111 24/7
Shout text “Shout” to 85258 24/7
CALM for men call 0800 58 58 58 5pm to midnight every day