Published: Friday, 8th September 2023
Sunday 10 September marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a day which encourages people to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
Many of us will be affected by the lives lost to suicide at some point in our life. While fortunately across the country, and in Royal Greenwich, there has not been an increase in suicide arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, we do know that overall mental health has got worse, and demand for mental health services has gone up dramatically.
With the pressure people are under due to the cost of living crisis, current international affairs and the climate emergency, we need to take extra care to look after ourselves and others.
Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Health and Adults’ Social Care, said:
“With over 5,000 people losing their life to suicide in England and Wales each year, it’s so important to spread awareness of the help that is available.
I encourage everyone to look at the free online Suicide Awareness training from Zero Alliance Suicide to gain skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide and learn how to have a potentially life-saving conversation.”
The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘creating hope through action’, and familiarising ourselves with the resources available to us is important so we can act in difficult situations.
Watch our video with Councillor ‘Lade Hephzibah Olugbemi, ward councillor for West Thamesmead and the co-creator of the NOUS organisation, a not-for-profit organisation started to raise awareness of mental health issues in the community. ‘Lade speaks about the importance of having open conversations about mental health and suicide, spreading awareness of the help available and breaking the stigma around suicide.
Cllr ‘Lade Hephzibah, Mental Health Champion said: “Too often, loved ones suffer in silence out of fear of judgement or simply not knowing where to look for help. Suicide prevention is more than just one day of the year, but I hope we can use this awareness day to show everyone that it's okay not to be okay, and that things will get better. If you ever need support, there are accessible services and resources available all over Royal Greenwich.”
If you are concerned about someone being at immediate risk of physical harm, it is important that you call 999 for emergency services.
If you would like to speak to someone confidentially, you can call the Samaritans’ 24-hour phone line on 116 123, or the NHS crisis line on 0800 330 8590. You can find a wider list of mental health crisis helplines here.
You can find more local mental health and wellbeing support services on the Live Well Greenwich website.
If worries about money or your finances are affecting your mental health, click here.
You can find out about general cost of living support in Royal Greenwich here.
If you or someone you know has been bereaved by a death to suicide, you can seek support from the South East London Suicide Bereavement Service.
If you are worried about your mental health, book an appointment to talk to your GP.
The Zero Suicide Alliance provide a free 20-minute online Suicide Awareness Training course where you can gain skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide. You can access this training here.
On Monday 11 September South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, alongside their partners Mind and Thrive London, will be holding an online event to observe World Suicide Prevention Day, including a service of remembrance. You can find out more and register here.
If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest health and wellbeing news, consider becoming a Royal Greenwich Community Champion, find out more here.