World Suicide Prevention Day was established in 2003 with the very simple aim of focusing attention on the issue, reducing the stigma around suicide, raising awareness across our communities, and giving a message that suicide can be prevented.
The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that 4,912 suicides were registered in England in 2020 and that the male suicide rate (15.3 per 100,000) continues to be higher when compared to the female suicide rate (4.9 per 100,000).
As I reflect on these statistics, it is apparent that we may all be affected by suicide at some point during our lives. Whether that is struggling with our own mental health, supporting friends, family, colleagues, or peers with suicidal thoughts, or knowing someone who has attempted or taken their own life.
I am not an expert on suicide or suicide prevention, but it strikes me that as we go about our busy personal and professional lives it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to stop, notice when someone may be struggling, and give them the time to talk. You do not need to be an expert - just being there to listen and show you care may be enough to help them work through whatever is troubling them.
Following this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, I am asking colleagues and students to give less than half an hour to complete the online Zero Suicide Alliance Training:
- Staff: please take this 20 minute suicide awareness training
- Students: please take the University student suicide awareness training
One day it could help save a life.
For further information on suicide awareness and prevention at Bath, please see our webpage: Suicide awareness and prevention (bath.ac.uk).