Today is World Suicide Prevention day (Sept 10th). The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year – that’s one person every forty seconds. It’s thought that up to twenty five times as many make a suicide attempt.
World Suicide Prevention Day
- Aims to raise awareness and educate others on the effects mental illness can have on people worldwide.
- 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems in any one year. Physical wellbeing is deemed easier to speak about than emotion health.
NHS Employers has developed a range of tools and resources to help you have conversations around mental health in the workplace and promote positive mental wellbeing. See link for more details: http://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2018/09/world-suicide-prevention-day-2018
What you can do
Samaritans encourage individuals to start a conversation today if you think a friend, colleague or family member may be struggling.
When a person reaches a point where they are focused on taking their life, they’ve often lost sight of trying to find a way through their problems. This period usually only lasts a short while and often it doesn’t take a huge amount to bring someone back from that decision – something as simple as saying, ‘it’s ok to talk’ can be enough to move someone out of suicidal crisis.
How can people reach out?
Samaritans highlights it can be daunting to approach someone who is struggling to cope; you may not know what to say, how to start a difficult conversation or worry that you’ll make things worse. However, you don’t need to be an expert. Often, just asking if someone’s OK and letting them know you’re listening can give people the confidence to open up about how they’re feeling.
For more mental health support please see previous blog, 3 days prior to this
10 Things to Know – Facebook page
10 Things to Know about looking after your own mental health as a healthcare professional
By Tamsyn Crane @neonatal_ed
1. What we do for a living is tough. Mentally, physically, emotionally. Take a moment to appreciate what you do every day; what you have achieved; the things that you have seen and done; the people you have helped and those you have saved. You are amazing.
2. It is OK if you are struggling. We all have times where we feel that we cannot do this anymore. 1 in 3 people will suffer from mental health problems in their lifetime, and this is higher in healthcare professionals. It is not a weakness to be unwell, to have an illness.
3. Just because we are healthcare professionals, does not mean that we cannot have mental health problems. It doesn’t change who you are as a person, and it doesn’t make you incapable of doing your job, once you are better. It is no different from having the flu.
4. If you are suffering from a mental illness, you may still be able to work. You might need to take some time off. You might need to take medication, you might need psychotherapy. This is all OK. Do what is right for you, do what you can achieve and do not feel ashamed if all you can do is get out of bed. That is still an achievement.
5. Self-care is vital. Whether you are mentally fit and healthy, or if you are not. Find out what you love to do, what makes you happy, what makes you calm. And make it a priority. Drink, eat, exercise, dance, sing, read a book, have a bath. You cannot help others if you are empty. Put your oxygen mask on first.
6. Ask for help. I cannot stress this enough. Ask for help. Without my friends, my family and some phenomenal colleagues, I would never have got through my mental health crisis. And I definitely wouldn’t have made it back to my job. Whoever you think might be able to support you, ask them.
7. If you are in crisis, if you don’t know who or where to turn, if you feel helpless and hopeless. Phone the Samaritans. They are incredible, they are there 24/7 and helping people in crisis is what they do. And they do it so well.
8. If you have had time off of work with a mental health problem, coming back to work is hard. Coming back to a clinical environment is extremely hard. Make 100% sure that you are ready. Take it one step at a time. Do not expect too much of yourself, you will not be able to come back at the same level that you were previously. Be kind to yourself.
9. Don’t be afraid to tell your colleagues that you have had mental ill health. They will not think less of you. People in the NHS are kind, supportive and understanding. I have shared my experience because I want them to know it’s OK. That if they were in a similar situation, not to be ashamed. But if you want to keep it to yourself, that’s OK too.
10. Mental illness is a bit like a broken bone. It starts to feel OK when you are resting it, but once you start to use it more; it starts to hurt again. When everything is going smoothly, you may be mentally fine, but if you are challenged, you may not have the ability to cope. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and rest your mind again. It will help you to heal in the long run.
For help and support follow on their Facebook page
Last but not least these a video if interested in watching: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06k5gdy