The definition of suicide by the Mental Health Foundation is ‘the instance of taking one’s own life intentionally’.
Suicide is a topic that is rarely spoken about for several reasons. It seems that most of society believe that, by talking about suicide we are encouraging it or encouraging the thoughts of it. This is a myth; by talking about suicide we open an avenue for people to feel comfortable in speaking about their thoughts and feelings surrounding this. Suicide is more common than many of us realise, thousands of people in the UK end their lives by suicide each year, over 6,000 of these occur in the UK and Ireland. To make this more relatable, the figure works out to one death by suicide every two hours.
If suicide is so prevalent then why do we avoid the discussion around it? People often get worried about talking about it due to lack of understanding and fear of making the situation worse. As we all know bottling up emotions can be more unhelpful than helpful. So why should we not speak about suicide?
Unfortunately, suicide has many negative connotations attached to it; it is often thought that if someone is serious about acting on their suicidal thoughts there is nothing we can do to help. This is not true, I believe that the only point of not being able to help a person is when they have already left this earth. There are many things we can do to help someone who feels suicidal;
MIND give some advice:
•Encourage them to talk about their feelings
•Encourage them to seek treatment and support
•Offer emotional support
•Offer practical support
•Help them discover ways of self-help
•Help them to make a support plan
The main aspect of supporting someone is providing a compassionate, understanding, non-judgemental ear. Overreacting and projecting your thoughts and feelings about it can make the situation worse.
Remaining calm and talking through the situation is extremely important. If this article has affected you in any way and you feel that you need extra support please see our contacts list at the end of this subsection.