Playing Your Part for Suicide Prevention Day

World suicide Prevention Day is today the 10th September 2018. The purpose of today is to highlight that suicide can be prevented. Instead of looking at negatives of the failings of the government and our health system. We are going to focus on ourselves and the things we can do to make a positive impact in the people’s lives around us in relation to suicide.

Everyone has mental health and so we can play a role in making it better and those around us too. There are several things we can do to play our part, these include:

  1. Stop Judging and Show More Compassion

Instead of having a go at someone or getting frustrated by them take a breath and realise you don’t know the full story for that person. You don’t know what is troubling them in their lives and the last thing is another person getting annoyed or frustrated with them, because they are already doing that to themselves. So, when breathing ask yourself, how can I show this person some compassion? Can I give them a listening ear and see what is really going on? Do they need a hug and reassurance they can always come and talk to you? Can you remind them that no matter how dark it gets there is help and support available and you will help them seek it out?. It also means being kinder to yourself too and less critical.

  1. Know the Signs of Suicide

Knowing the signs heightens our awareness and allows us to trust our instinct and have the confidence to ask the question “Are you feeling suicidal?”. These days we can know do ASIST or Safe Talk training which gives you the Awareness, the alertness and intervention skills to deal with Suicide. Checkout https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/mental-health-services/nosp/training/ for how you can get signed up at the next available training or checkout if there is any happening on campus.

  1. Know the Supports Available

By being informed about the supports available, we can help ourselves and those around us when in distress. The first protocol is the GP and most colleges have access to one on campus but if it is outside typical working hours the next step is the A&E and don’t leave until the person gets the proper help if they are a danger to themselves right now.

If the crisis hasn’t reached that level of distress you can talk to the following people on campus; the Counsellor, the Chaplin, the Student Union Welfare Officer or your Student Advisors. To find out what is available on-campus checkout www.pleasetalk.org.

If you want supports available off-campus that may suit you better you can go to www.pleasetalk.org. where you can add your location and see a list of national and local supports available to you.

If you need to talk to someone immediately you can freephone any of the following helplines who can support you through any issue that you are struggling to cope with.

Samaritans

Call: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Text (Fees may apply): 087 260 9090

Pieta House

Call: 1800 247 247

Text (Fees may apply): 51444

 Niteline (Student Helpline) * only available on certain campuses during term 9pm-2.30am

Call: 1800 793 793

 

  1. Challenge the Stigma Around Mental Health

Suicide is a complex mental health problem. People aren’t doing it just to seek attention, they are in serious pain and distress and need to be listened to. They need help to discover the root cause of their problems so they then can find solutions that help them cope and deal with the struggles of life. However due to stigma, people are slow to talk about their issues and as a result are prevented from seeking help sooner. When we talk about stigma, we are talking about using negative labels to identify people with mental health problems.

So, play your part and challenge the stigma. Challenge those who are misinformed and sharing myths as if they are facts, as this adds to the negative perception of suicide and make it harder for people to talk about their experiences. Support and encourage those around you that you view talking as a strength not a weakness. Every one of us has mental health and nobody should feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their feelings, emotions and their experiences.

  1. Practice your Own Self-Care

Look after yourself and your own mental health. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and we all love a good cuppa so every day make sure you are showing yourself love and compassion. Learn how to manage your inner critic and instead of being your own worst enemy, become your own best friend. If you catch yourself talking harshly to yourself- ask yourself would you allow your best friend to talk to you like this? How would you want them to talk to you and adapt that instead.

Also know when a problem is becoming too much for you to handle on your own and when to seek the help of professionals. Every day we need to exercise, eat good nutritious food, drink plenty of water and get good quality sleep. So, look at your habits and start practicing new ones to help ensure you are looking after yourself each day to the best of your ability as this allows you to play your part in making mental health a priority.