Understanding Suicide and how we can help
What is Suicide?
Suicide is when someone deliberately ends their own life.
‘Suicidal thoughts’ occur when somebody is thinking about, or planning suicide. This could be a momentary thought, through to a detailed plan on how they may take their own life.
People who take their own life have often told someone that they do not feel their life is worth living anymore. Some people may have actually said they want to die. It is extremely important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously and try to make sure they remain safe.
‘Committing suicide’ was illegal until 1961, hence the use of the word ‘committed’. So, as if life wasn’t bad enough, you would also be sent to jail if you failed to take your own life.
However, suicide is no longer a criminal offence and the word
‘committed’ should not be used, other terminology such as
‘completed’ or ‘attempted’ should be used
4,382 (75%) were male and 1,439 (25%) were female
In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives compared to women
The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49
In the UK, someone takes their own life every 90 minutes
Risk Factors -
Previous Suicide attempts
Mental Health Problems
Drug or alcohol misuse or addiction
First Aid advice for suicidal emotions -
Provide opportunity for the person to talk. If the person does not initiate a conversation with you, you should say something to them
Once the conversation is open, tell the person why you’re worried about them and ask about suicide…
“Have you had thoughts of ending your life?”
Listen to what they say carefully, remain calm and provide reassurance
Phrases such as “my life isn’t worth living anymore” or “I just want to disappear” must be taken seriously
If you believe the person is in serious danger and they have tried, or are going to try to take their own life, stay with them and call the emergency services
Treatment for Suicidal Thoughts
It's estimated 90% of people who attempt or die by suicide have one or more mental health conditions. However, in some cases, the condition may not have been formally diagnosed before the suicidal crisis
If someone is treated in hospital following a suicidal crisis, they will usually be assessed to find out the best options to keep them safe. This should include a referral to a specialist to organise a professional treatment plan
When someone visits their GP because of their suicidal emotions, the outcome will be similar to that of the hospital. The GP will assess their condition and work out the most appropriate treatment plan
Signposting for Suicide
Offering emotional support
for everyone, 24 hours a day.
Confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide and others who are concerned about them.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Listening services, information and support for men at risk of suicide.
nhs.uk/conditions/suicide Comprehensive help and information relating to suicide, including links to external websites.
elefriends.org.uk Mind’s supportive online community providing confidential help on mental health problems, including suicide.
Maytree Suicide Respite Centre
Offers free respite stays for people in suicidal crisis.
For more information or free advice contact us firstname.lastname@example.org