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September marks The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami) Suicide Prevention Awareness month  

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death around the world.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) attributes 700,000 deaths each year to suicide making it the fourth leading cause of death for people aged between 15-29 years old globally. 

Suicidal thoughts, like many other mental health disorders, thrive in silence. Talking and sharing our thoughts and feelings often results in discovering the problem isn’t quite as big as first thought. It has long been said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. 

Talking is the greatest weapon we have in our arsenal in the war against suicide. It has almost become a cliche at this point.  We need to break the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. Once a conversation is started it is surprising how many people want to help and what great support is out there from organisations such as; The Samaritans, Mind Infoline, Childline, Saneline and PAPYRUS, to name just a few. 

If you are in a dark place and life seems hopeless, pointless, please reach out to a friend, a colleague, a family member – hell even your dog!

If anyone you know has become quiet, withdrawn, detached, check in on them, ask them if they are coping okay – in fact, ask them twice.  Recent studies have shown that asking twice shows we are asking for real, not just making conversation. 

It is my belief that no one person should have to suffer alone with thoughts or feelings of hopelessness and nobody should suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one to suicide. 

Ask twice, you might just save a life! Let’s end suicide! 

By Lee Trueman, Commercial Director NDGAI.