Surrey and North East Hampshire residents are being urged to reach out to friends and family members to start the conversation around mental health and in particular male suicide ahead of this year's World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September)
Nationally, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45 and latest figures show that men account for three-quarters of those who died by suicide last year.
Anyone can reach crisis point. In fact, only a third of people who take their own lives have been in contact with mental health services in the year prior to their death.
“People can sometimes feel uncomfortable reaching out, or worry it may be a burden for their family or friends if they talk openly about life’s challenges, but speaking out, even if you’re not sure what to say, can make a huge difference to the way you feel. Don’t bottle it up” said Dan Brown, Clinical Lead for the Mind Matters talking therapies service.
“It’s common for people, especially men, to think that struggling with our emotions or feeling that we can’t cope is a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. I have worked with men and women for with a range of mental health difficulties for over 20 years and I can honestly say that the opposite is true. Anyone can feel they are not coping, and learning to deal with those emotions can be an incredible source of strength” added Dan.
"If you’re worried that someone you know may be feeling suicidal it can be really hard to know what to say to them but taking a minute to reach out could save their life. You may need to ask twice before they’re willing to open up so don’t give up if they find it difficult to talk at first. You don’t have to have all the answers either, just showing your support and giving someone space to communicate their feelings can be a huge relief” said Dan.
Where to get support
- If you are worried your mental health is deteriorating you should see your GP as soon as you can.
- If you need to speak to someone straight away, you can call The Samaritans 24 hours a day, on 116 123.
- Safe Havens provide an out of hours alternative to A&E for anybody experiencing a mental health crisis. There are drop-ins in five town centres across Surrey and North East Hampshire, open evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Safe Havens are provided in partnership with local third sector organisations. Visit www.sabp.nhs.uk/safehaven for more information.
- More information about our support for people experiencing a mental health crisis, visit: www.sabp.nhs.uk/help
- If your life is in danger, call 999.