World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept 10.

Suicide rates have been on the rise consistently for the past few years, and that’s across the board – men and women. And while rates are a lot higher in men compared to women there is no getting around the fact that we need to be discussing our mental health more in order to reduce the, quite frankly, terrifying, and often preventable, figures we are still seeing.

In 2017 there were 5821 suicides registered in the UK and in 2018, 6,507 registered

  • Males accounted for ¾ of suicides registered in 2017 and 2018
  • This has consistently been the case since the mid-1990s
  • The age range for the most suicides in men were aged between 45-49 years (for females the highest age group was between 50-54 years)
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales

(Statistics sourced from Samaritans 2018/Mental Health Foundation/ONS)

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place every year, for 2021 it’s on Friday, 10th September 2021 with the theme ‘Creating Hope Through Action’. One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide, not discriminating against who it affects. Each and every one of us will be touched by its devastating effects and the profound impact it is known to have on those dealing with losing someone that has taken their own life.

However, by raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide, and encouraging well-informed action, we can reduce instances of suicide around the world. World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and to promote action through proven means that will reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts globally.

‘Creating Hope Through Action’ is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments – as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.

At Fortis we have worked with countless families that have been affected by a close relation taking their own life and the devastating impact this can have. The truly scary thing is that not only would help have been given if the person in question had asked, but often, the person who has taken their own life, is convinced that life and everyone around them, will be better without them there. It is vital we reach people before they get to this stage. Providing support and expert assistance before suicidal ideals take hold can prevent them being acted upon.

For more information on how you can help, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has a wealth of knowledge and resources available, click here to access them. So many of the people who come to us have experienced the effects of losing a loved one to suicide, or themselves had suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it really helps to hear what others have been through, their experiences and to discover what helped support them. A little while ago we put together a blog series called ‘Giving Mental Health a Voice’ which covers the topic. Click here to access the series and read stories from our clients.

We also run two online community groups which are there to offer support and hopefully reduce those statistics by offering support and help at a stage when suicidal ideas are preventable. The benefits of being part of a community are well documented. With so many of us having been deprived of the security and support that community provides, in-person at least, for so long thanks to Covid-19 there’s no escaping the fact that it is something we all need.

Community enables us to share and relate to each other, offer support, and help each other grow in every way. And that is just what our first online community, The F Word, has been created to provide. A space that breeds a healthy curiosity in mental health and emotional wellbeing, and a pride in being able to contribute to that.

Open to everyone, individuals, families, and friends, and those working in the worlds of business and education – our areas of expertise, The F Word is a place you can find likeminded peers and expert advice.

With many of Fortis’ very own therapists within the group as active members, expert advice is at hand whenever you might need it. We encourage all members to debate and bring those all-important conversations to the table, but to always be respectful in the process.

This group also links into our monthly newsletter of the same name. It flies into inboxes on the first Monday every month, drawing attention to local, as well as national awareness campaigns that we believe in, as well as all of our recent news. Not subscribed yet? It’s easy and takes two minutes – if that. Sign up here.

Then there’s The Westerly Club. You can find out all about our men’s only peer support group via the tab at the top of this page, or by heading over to Facebook and joining the conversation here.

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If you have any questions at all about mental health, please do get in touch with the team by calling 01472 241794 or emailing [email protected]

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