Thursday, 10 September 2015

World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Before I started writing my novella Cat and The Dreamer, there were a lot of news stories about teenagers committing suicide. There were several incidents of them linking up with friends or people they'd met online for that purpose. As a consequence, when I think about suicide prevention, I usually think about young people.

According to the Samaritans, there were approximately 12 deaths per 100,000 of the UK population in 2013 in the 15-24 age group. Just this week, in the UK, a girl committed suicide over something seemingly so trivial, but which was obviously the tipping point. It's so sad that she wasn't able to talk to anyone, that she thought she had no way out. She was 15.

There are many issues that drive someone to kill themselves, of course; but when I read about a child taking their own lives, I just wish they'd had someone to sit down with them, hug them and tell them it gets better.

The kids who are bullying you will be out of your life in a couple of years. The things that make you 'different' and 'weird' now, will be unique at university - people will envy you for your confidence. The home life that feels almost impossible, you can escape it - there are people to help you, to make you feel safe again. You won't always feel awkward, scared, alone. There are people waiting to be your best friend or your spouse, people who will love you because you are amazing. In short, it gets better.

Above all, if nothing else, please talk to someone.

UK Organisations:
Childline
PAPYRUS
If U Care Share Foundation
Young Minds

US Organisations:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Yellow Ribbon
Teen Help
The Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation



20 comments:

  1. This is such a large issue, Annalisa, and a sad one. I have personal experience with the harm bullying causes, as one of our daughters was bullied. It affected her health, confidence, etc.

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    1. Sorry to hear about your daughter. Kids can be so cruel. I hope your daughter overcame the bullies.

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  2. A great issue indeed, thanks for sharing.

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  3. good post. It's hard to keep perspective, I guess, for some folks. The mind is a mysterious thing

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    1. I think, sometimes, bad things feel all encompassing - there probably doesn't feel like there's any escape.

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  4. Yes, talk to someone. Things will change.

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  5. Beautiful words, Annalisa. We humans can be so cruel to one another. As a weirdo myself, who never fit in, life does get better. There are things to live for. I wish those that hurt themselves can know that and know death is not the answer. Thank you for speaking up on this issue.

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    1. Different = memorable. Who, as an adult, doesn't want to be memorable? I've never met any adult who wanted to be just the same as everyone else. It's interesting how our perceptions change. But, sadly, some people just can't wait for that moment.

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  6. I was talking to my father about teen suicide (there seemed to be a rash of group suicides in the 80's, when I was a teen). He said the biggest problem with teens is that they don't yet have the data bank of history to get them through tough times. We adults have suffered our bruises and most of us know we will get by, but to a teen- all the hurts are brutal and fresh. They don't yet know, the pain will subside.

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    1. That's an important point, Elizabeth. I remember many times truly believing I would never reach adulthood, just because it seemed too hard and too far away.

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  7. Hi Annalisa - yes something we should all be encouraged to help and talk with others, we don't know who we'll touch. Suicide is terrible to deal with ... and bullying at a young age is most definitely not easy to get through. Reaching out early should help - both encouraging potential victims and encouraging their elders to be empathetic and check in on those early symptoms.

    Thanks for highlighting ... Hilary

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    1. Thanks for reading, Hilary. I hope you're well :-)

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  8. This is such a terrible topic, but the more we talk about it, the more aware we become, hopefully it will lead to better outcomes. Those stories are so sad. Young people, especially, with their lives in such turmoil, feel they have no way out other than the permanent option. A permanent solution to a temporary problem.

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    1. It is very sad, Denise. I'm glad that mental health issues are being talked about more - celebrities sharing their personal stories, schools taking the lead in discussion etc.

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  9. It's so sad, and what's scarier, is that a lot of the times those close to the person don't even see it coming. I worked a suicide hotline while I was in university, and every call I got, the person really just wanted to talk to someone who would listen without judging. That's all.

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  10. There are some heartbreaking stories. Time to talk and and time to listen to those in turmoil. Thanks for highlighting and signposting some organisations who can offer support.

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  11. A deeply thoughtful post, Annalisa, and with children of our own we are even more afraid of the consequences of true depression.

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  12. I didn't know the 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day! I'm adding that to my calendar next year so I can remember. Suicide breaks my heart. It's horrible at every age but when children and teens do it it's devastating. I hate how kids are bullied so horribly that they think the only escape is death. I was bullied a lot, so this topic hurts me. Thanks for this post!

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Please comment - I love a good chat!