September is Suicide Prevention Month

The following post was written by @lizzeygregory for Suicide Prevention Month and we felt it important to share.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In the UK, 1 in 5 people experience suicidal ideation in their lives, so what can those other 4 people be doing to help?
WARNING SIGNS & RISK FACTORS - talking or writing about suicide, Self- harm and self destructive behaviour, seeking out items that could be used for a suicide attempt (weapons, drugs) especially if this person has a mental disorder or has attempted suicide before. Studies have found that hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide. People who feel hopeless may talk about “unbearable” feelings, predict a bleak future, and state that they have nothing to look forward to. Withdrawal, eating less, sleep disturbances/insomnia, chronic illness/disability, loss of interest & motivation. 
LISTEN & ADVISE- this is about being there for your loved ones. Listen to understand how they feel, not to react. If someone has come to you saying they're feeling suicidal, please remember they would have felt a huge burden on their shoulders just for telling you, so be sensitive in your approach, research more sensitive language to use. Negative attitudes in these conversations can cause more harm than good so refrain from making the individual feel shamed, guilty or attention seeking. Also, be there just the same as you were the first time - your loved one might need to come back to you time and time again to feel supported. We shouldn't be shrugging them off because of the frequency and longitude of their struggle. Healing isn't linear and some individuals really rely on their support systems to cope, day to day.
VOTE & SIGN PETITIONS- suicide prevention isn't just about talking. Our mental health services are underfunded, and in huge demand. People are waiting over six months for a referral when they need the action as quickly possible. Imagine reaching out for help, when you're at your lowest, and you're told to wait half a year for that help to be given. Early intervention is KEY! A really important campaign going on at the moment is the @dbtforallcampaign which is now being pushed forwards for debate. 
This is a life saving therapy that allows people to gain skills that help to curve intense emotions. 
UK Samaritans: 116 123 (24hr)
UK Crisis Text line: Text SHOUT to 85258 to text with a trained Crisis Volunteer (24hr)
US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24hr)
Australia Lifeline: 13 11 14 (24hr)
New Zealand Lifeline: 0508 828 865 (24hr)
Canada Crisis Text Line: text CONNECT (English) or PARLER (French) to 686-868
Suicide prevention is for everyday, not just one day in September!
Follow Lizzey on instagram at @lizzeygregory
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