Monday, 10 September 2018

Talking suicide on World Suicide Prevention Day

Before I even realised that, whilst on my school run this morning, a lot of 'what ifs' on the matter of suicide were running through my head. In terms of, what if I had talked about it more, done more, been more aware.

Then this evening, I read this post titled 'Why we should talk about suicide from Jenny who blogs over at The Brick Castle. This part in particular jumped out at me:
'Those left behind after a suicide are statistically more likely to become victims. This is very easy to understand as a survivor. It's very hard to accept, especially as a parent. I'm surrounded by people I love and I flit from one to the other, searching for any signs that one of them can't cope. I hope beyond hope that they all have someone they can talk to. Talking about it doesn't remind any of us that suicide exists, we can never forget suicide exists.'

But ALL of this post is worth reading and I implore you to go and read it in full. Read every word, and understand that we need to talk about suicide, no matter how hard it seems. I'm guilty of not having talked about it enough; I understand when people are scared of the knock-on effects of talking about it with children. But if we don't talk about it, how can we ever support those who feel that life is impossible to live? So let's not be scared of saying the wrong thing, let's all make the word suicide not a whispered one.

There are high rates of suicide within the autism community; this post cites some research in 2015 which states '66% of adults newly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) are reported as having contemplated suicide. In the same study – which remains the most recent clinical research into suicidality in autism – 35% of the 365 respondents newly diagnosed with AS said they had planned or attempted to end their own life'.

Hopefully if we talk to everyone about suicide from a much younger age, and if we all get better at recognising and supporting those with mental health struggles, the future will become less bleak for autistic children, who, of course, grow up into adults.

Of course it's not just about autistic people, or only about adults. It also shouldn't just be about us asking those who are struggling to make the first step towards getting help. We should all be good friends, and neighbours, and check in on others, remind them we are here, be open to listening, always. Difficult to do in reality, to spot any specific signs - sometimes those in the most trouble don't show it. Today I'd like to challenge us all to go away, do a little research and see how we can help.

The OLLIE Foundation is a charity devoted to stopping teenagers and young people from taking their own lives. They run suicide intervention training programmes and offer more resources to help on its website.

The Samaritans are on hand 24 hours a day 116 123 (UK) 116 123 (ROI).

If you are a young person or are worried about another young person, you may feel more comfortable talking to Papyrus 0800 068 41 41 or Childline 0800 1111

If you have lost someone to suicide then you may find help from Survivors Of Bereavement By Suicide, and Winston's Wish for younger family members.

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1 comment:

  1. Talking is definitely a big factor! I literally told in front of my sister's car last Christmas when she was trying to drive off and end her life. If she hadn't phoned me to say she was in crisis, I wouldn't have been there to stop her and get her the help she needed. PS Good luck in the BIBS xxx


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