SUICIDE IS PREVENTABLE
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:
Talking about wanting to die
Looking for a way to kill oneself
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
Talking about being a burden to others
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
Sleeping too little or too much, constantly ‘feeling tired’
Withdrawing or feeling isolated
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
Displaying extreme mood swings
Giving away prized possessions
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.
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.
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.