SUICIDE IS PREVENTABLE

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Need help?

If you’re feeling suicidal or need someone to talk to, contact the following helplines.

  • CALM - 0800 58 58 58

  • Samaritans - 116 123

  • Papyrus - 0800 068 41 41

  • Childline - 0800 1111

  • Switchboard - 0300 330 0630


Spot the signs

When someone takes their life, it often comes as a massive shock to friends and family who knew the person well. Not everyone who is suicidal shows all of the signs. As conveyed in our short film Ollie, the main character Ollie displays only very subtle signs of being suicidal. In the film, he tells his friend Henry that he doesn’t want to attend a party as he isn’t feeling too well (potential example of avoiding social interaction), as well as talking about feeling ‘tired’ (potential example of oversleeping/undersleeping and lethargy).

The most effective way of preventing a suicide is to break the silence. If you think a friend or loved one may be suicidal, just ask them the direct question. Contrary to public belief, asking the questions “Are you suicidal?” or “Do you feel like ending your life?WILL NOT plant the idea in their head. If anything, it’ll help them open up.

The following are potential signs of a suicidal person. They might not show all of them but it’s worth keeping these in mind:

  1. Talking about wanting to die

  2. Looking for a way to kill oneself

  3. Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose

  4. Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

  5. Talking about being a burden to others

  6. Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

  7. Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly

  8. Sleeping too little or too much, constantly ‘feeling tired’

  9. Withdrawing or feeling isolated

  10. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

  11. Displaying extreme mood swings

  12. Giving away prized possessions

  13. A loss of interest in things the person typically cares about


Risk factors of a suicidal person

Anyone can become depressed or suicidal, given the correct conditions. However, some are at greater risk than others.


Masculinity

The term ‘toxic masculinity’ has been thrown about in our culture wars, often sparking many an emotional response. However, in terms of mental health, masculinity is something that ought to be discussed. While resilience is important, the stereotypes that ‘real men don’t cry’ or men showing vulnerability are ‘just gay’ have done considerable damage to thousands of people’s lives.

Bottling up emotions and fearing judgment has made a significant contribution to poorer mental health among men. Every week, 84 British men end their lives in the United Kingdom. Here’s some of our cast from the Ollie film sharing their opinions on this matter.

 
 

Social issues

We often neglect talking about the social factors that contribute to poorer mental health and higher suicide rates. Race, income, geographical location, religion, sexuality can all contribute to a suicide.

N.B. The particular suicide statistic stated in the website is based on a very small sample size. Nevertheless, research overwhelmingly concludes that those who are trans are more likely to experience issues with their mental health.

Meet the Cast

Meet the Crew


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Special thanks to Misha Butler, Ella Byrt, Ava Benjiman, Daisy Hargreaves, Michaela Mackenzie, Dhillon Selvarajah, Sachin Tankaria, Ismail Nazir, Harry Garland, Vithun Illankovan, Ella Gauntlett, Shrey Srivastava, Vlad Skorik, Caleb Jacobus

Breaking the Silence

 

Earlier this year, ItMatters UK worked with The OLLIE Foundation to produce and release the suicide awareness film 'Ollie'. There was an incredible response and the film went viral. In ‘Breaking the Silence’, the creative team behind 'Ollie' discuss why the issue is so important to talk about and why taking part in The OLLIE Foundation's training is a great step towards preventing suicide among young people.

 
 
 
I am absolutely blown away at this short film, everything about it was incredible. Everything you are doing to reduce the stigma is actually mind blowing. It’s so important for people to understand the self torment that young people have to go through and I think you depicted that in such a through provoking way.
— Marie Senechal, mental health influencer
One of the most moving, saddest and extraordinary things I have ever watched.What society have created where honesty is a hostage to conformity!
— Simon Samuels
Such a powerful video it brought tears to my eyes. As a parent to a teenage son you never know what might be going through their heads. Thank you for reminding me that life is too short so embrace every moment with your kids, and never take anything for granted.
— Sharon Charlton Cooper
It’s too tragic that so many beautiful people have chosen to leave this world, hopefully we can find a way to support those around us who are in pain; so we don’t have to lose any more talented and gifted friends.
— Maxine Jacqueline
An incredible film!! So proud that our generation are talking about mental health!
— Liv Rook, mental health influencer

Aftermath 

On the 7th May, the film ‘Ollie’ was released on The OLLIE Foundation’s Facebook. Within a fortnight, the two-and-a-half minute film attained over 20K views. It received countless shares on social media, with young people using it to open up about their own mental health experiences. Schools, NCS branches and Universities started using the film for educational and training purposes. Cinemas and film festivals offered to screen ‘Ollie’ during commercials to raise awareness.

 

Fellow young people wrote to us, explaining how representation helped them come to terms with their own mental health and realise that they were not alone. There was a surge in interest for signing up to suicide prevention programmes, among all age groups.

 

After several suicide attempts, one member of the public found a way to end his life once and for all. On the evening he was about to take his life, he happened to watch the film on his social media feed. He realised he wasn’t alone and, having cried for help, decided against taking his life.

 

A string of celebrities began to endorse the film. The viral success of the film empowered some of the cast and crew to campaign on a more personal level. Laura Hall, 1st Assistant Director, opened up on local media about living with anxiety. Meanwhile, Archuna Ananthamohan, writer and producer, would go on to speak at schools and conferences and become the founder of ItMatters UK.

This is a wonderful film: packs in so much truth in so short a time – please watch it.
— Stephen Fry
This is so important and such an accurate depiction of suicidal ideation and mental illness. Putting up a positive front is much easier than opening up about how you actually feel despite being exhausting. A lot of the time people say they understand or they’re always there, but being there is more than saying ‘you can talk to me’ or making the effort to see you. Supporting someone is accepting them during their hard & lowest times, their flaws, their inability to feel capable of mundane activities (never mind the anxieties of social interaction) or feeling like life is not worth living. ALSO Mark Brown you’re my favourite person ever and I love you
— Tina Rainey
 
This awareness film is worth watching. Suicide is the largest single killer of young men. The mental health stigma needs to end or this will never change.
— Young Greens
Please take just two minutes out of your day to watch and share this short film about suicide awareness. Funded, written and shot entirely by young people. Poignant and moving.”
— Esmé Bianco, Games of Thrones actress
Tough watch this but very important
— Damian Barr, author of "Maggie & Me"
Excellent film, very powerful, very real and a little too close for comfort as some of the dialogue with persons unseen were almost word for word things that were said to me. Some of the dialogue with the persons unseen were almost word for word things that were said to me when I was younger. They stirred unpleasant memories because I came seriously close to being an ‘Ollie’!
— Graham N
Just wow. This is massively powerful. I know we still have a lot of work to do before we can *all* openly talk about mental health & suicide but we’re making progress.”
— Alex Fearon
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