WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO CREATE A CULTURE WHERE WE TALK ABOUT SUICIDE?
The problem is that people tend to think they already know what suicidal looks like - reclusiveness, crying, silence - and if they don’t see these traits in someone they’re worried about, they hesitate to intervene. In reality, suicidal behaviour takes many forms. People can seem happy but are in fact concealing an inner turmoil. Our aim with this campaign is to remind people of that fact and equip them with the tools they need to stop suicide even when the so-called signs are hard to see. Anyone can be fighting their own internal battles so it’s vital we create a culture where they can open up and talk about it before it's too late.
TAKE A MINUTE TO TALK ABOUT SUICIDE
So we’re asking everyone to take a minute to talk about suicide. If we can all start one conversation about suicide, together we can save more lives. Over dinner. In schools. In offices. At the pub. In parliament. Right across the country. We need to break the silence and smash the stigma around suicide and get everyone talking about it.
From research we carried out we know that over half of us wouldn’t feel confident in helping someone who may be struggling or in need. So we’ve put together simple, practical tools that can help start these potentially life-saving conversations. To help you find the words when you don’t know what to say.
I know from the work we do every day that there’s still a very real stigma around talking about suicide. People call it the S-word, there’s that amount of shame around it - but I also know that it’s vital we make it an everyday conversation. Because if we all talked about suicide in an open, honest and compassionate way - where there isn’t that shame or stigma - wouldn’t that help so many people find help? Wouldn’t that give so many people the confidence to come forward and let people know they’re struggling before it’s too late?
TALKING SAVES LIVES
It might sound simple but it really does. And as a society, we would be so much better at dealing with sucide if we were more open about the topic. It’s so important that we break down the stigma around it and not let the subject hide in the shadows. If we can get the subject out of that darkness and into the light, we can confront and destroy it.
Of course it can seem awkward and uncomfortable - but it could also be the most important conversation you ever have. And it’s only through having more conversations about suicide - by making it a part of the everyday way we care for each other - that we’ll we get more comfortable with having them. We need to make talking about suicide a normal part of how we look after each other and ourselves. To remove that stigma and sense of taboo so people are more likely to ask for help and for people to be able to help those they’re worried about.
ASK PEOPLE DIRECTLY IF THEY’RE STRUGGLING
We know for example that if you’re worried someone you know feels suicidal, you should ask them the question directly. That can feel daunting but experience tells us that that asking about suicide won’t make things worse - won’t be putting thoughts in their head if it’s not there already or prompt them into acting on their thoughts - but can actually help give them a sense of relief that someone has actually asked this question and made them feel heard for the first time.
The truth is anyone can feel suicidal - but we can all help save a life. So even if there are no obvious signs, the best way to prevent suicide, is talking about suicide. Because the more comfortable we feel talking about suicide and self-harm, the easier it will be to detect when someone is in distress.
By starting a conversation, we can all help stop suicide. By removing the stigma that surrounds suicide, we can make it an everyday conversation. We can make it easier for everyone to talk about how they’re feeling. Openly. Without judgement. Without shame.