Suicide awareness and how to help

Suicidal awareness and how to help? World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an awareness day commemorated on September 10th every year and today in Australia it is ‘RU OK? Day,” a suicide prevention day designed to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with those around them and start a conversation with those in their world who may be struggling with life.

The WSPD provides global engagement and action to prevent suicide. In this article, we share facts about our current mental health crisis and examples of helpful first aid mental health organizations supporting those in need.

A mental health crisis

Samaritans pointed to “worrying trends” during the Covid-19 crisis. This came on top of the male suicide rate in England and Wales in 2019, which was the highest in two decades.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released Tuesday showed 5,691 suicides were recorded. This at an age-standardized rate of 11 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

The ONS said men were responsible for about three quarters of the suicide deaths recorded in 2019. 4,303 versus 1,388 women.

First, men aged 45 to 49 continue to have the highest risk of suicide. However, there has also been an increase in suicide rates among young people, particularly women under the age of 25.

Although there was no guarantee the impact of Covid-19 would lead to higher suicide rates, the Samaritans analyzed their helpline calls. They found that the pandemic had exacerbated known risk factors for people already at risk.

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how to help

When someone is feeling suicidal, some people can benefit from the help of volunteers from an amazing organization called Maytree. In addition, they have a non-medical retreat and are supported by trained volunteers at this crucial moment in their lives.

What is Maytree?

Maytree is a special and unique charity that provides a home for people who are contemplating suicide. It is a non-medical residence open 365 days a year and staffed by trained and supportive volunteers.

what do they offer

Maytree offers guests a private room with full use of the kitchen, living room and garden. Privacy is also possible at any time.

Importantly, they also allow plenty of time for conversations with trained and friendly volunteers, including one-on-one sessions. The staff spend many hours with each guest during their stay. They also give them the opportunity to talk about their fears, thoughts and problems. All thoughts and feelings are heard with compassion and without judgement.

After a stay:

As Maytree can only offer one-off short stays, they ensure that discussions are held during a guest’s stay about next steps, including advice, financial advice and accommodation.

A week after a guest’s stay, he or she receives a personal note written by a member of the Maytree staff team, reflecting on their stay and acknowledging the efforts while recognizing their accomplishments.

Maytree typically conducts initial conversations with callers over the phone, which is sufficient help for some to get ahead without staying indoors.

First Aid for Life supports Maytree and her incredible work:

First Aid for Life has offered dedicated first aid training to Maytree volunteers for many years. The team they recruit have always been outstanding and our bespoke courses ensure they are confident and competent to help when needed.

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Also, if you would like more information about Maytree or the Samaritans, find their phone numbers below and don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Call Maytree: 02072637070

To call Samaritans: 116 123

The Lions Barber Collective

After the death of his friend Alex, Torquay-based barber Tom Chapman started the charity The Lions Barber Collective. Its mission is to create nonclinical, nonjudgmental safe spaces where men feel comfortable to talk about their mental health and direct them to support and information. Someone in the UK takes their own life every 120 minutes. 75% of them are men. The need for change is more important than ever.

We are now approaching the 5th anniversary and jubilee of the charities on September 10th, which is traditionally World Suicide Prevention Day each year. The Lions Barber Collective is looking for additional hair professionals who wish to complete their training. This is to ensure their clients receive support for mental wellbeing and prevent potential suicides. The realization that hairdressers and hair professionals are often trusting confidants and a friendly ear for their customers. The charity has developed a clinically supported training program (BarberTalk) for hairdressers to support their clients and communities. The BarberTalk training is based on the four pillars of RECOGNIZE, ASK, LISTEN and HELP. These give them the knowledge to bridge the gap between the communities they serve and the resources available. And all while providing a safe space to share, open or unload.

Cooperation with national bodies such as NHS and Public Health England and local authorities across the UK, by providing the training the charity is not aiming to turn hairdressers into consultants. To enable the industry to embrace customers’ trust in their hairdresser to make a difference and become the first step on this journey by guiding people to where they can get the help they need.

Emma Hammett
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