World Suicide Prevention Day was established in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The theme for the past three years 'Creating Hope Through Action', reminds us there is an alternative to suicide and that through our actions we can encourage hope.
Men under the age of 45 continue to present as the highest to die by suicide, and although this can not be reduced to one single reason. Research by Samaritans identified social change as a leading cause, in addition to them having more lethal means, being more reluctant to seek help and the impact of relationship breakdowns.
Suicide among young girls and women has almost doubled in recent years. Why is that? Is it the impact of social media, and the constant pressure to look 'right', to present an image and combined this with young people feeling more isolated then ever, are likely to be reasons or contributors for the increase.
There are services set up specifically to support suicidal callers and those in crisis but sometimes a helpline with a remit for a different subject matter will respond to a suicidal caller. Why someone chooses to call you can be for a variety of reasons. This could be to share without having judgement, they may have previously called and felt you understood their situation, or you were open when other services are closed. The reason for choosing your service is not important, how you respond is.
The Beyond Blue training course we deliver focuses on responding to callers who share their suicidal thoughts and plan. We now have a Suicide Prevention Guide available to download. The aim is to provide an introduction to the Beyond Blue course and be a stand alone general guide for anyone to use. The guide aims to provide an overall understanding, how to respond and when to consider additional support.