World Suicide Prevention Day 10 September 2023
Every year, people around the world come together on the 10 September to raise awareness of suicide prevention and discuss and share practices on how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide.
At any one time, around one in 25 people are contemplating suicide. On average, two people go on to take their own life every day in Scotland. These aren't statistics, they are people - someone's relative, friend, or work colleague.
That's why it's so important that if you are having thoughts of suicide, you reach out to someone, either a family member, a friend, or a colleague.
There are a number of national and local groups offering support in a time of crisis or mental distress. If you are concerned about someone else don't be afraid to ask, "Are you okay" and help them to get help.
Those seeking help can contact the following organisations:
- Breathing Space
- NHS 24
- Health In Mind
- Breathing Space Scotland
- Mental Health Foundation
- United to Prevent Suicide
Mike Reid, Chair of West Lothian Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, said: "As a group we recognise that every person lost to suicide is a tragedy, for their loved ones, their colleagues, and society as a whole".
"Research suggests that open and honest communication about mental ill-health helps towards suicide prevention. Conversations have the power to increase awareness and understanding, remind people they are not alone and help break the stigma which can be a barrier for those seeking help."
The theme of World Suicide Prevention Day this year will again be "Creating Hope Through Action".
People are encouraged to light a candle near a window at 8pm on 10 September to show support for suicide prevention, to remember a loved one lost through suicide, and for bereaved families. Lighting a candle will offer people the opportunity to observe the day in a private and personal way.
Mike added: "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. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.
"Suicidal thoughts are complex. By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them.
"Although the support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide and for people who have lost someone to suicide, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is also needed.
"There are also many experienced and skilled people working in organisations who can help people who need to talk. I hope that anyone affected by suicide or thoughts of suicide will seek help from one of these agencies."
Further information on our approach to suicide prevention please visit: https://westlothianhscp.org.uk/article/42046/Mental-Wellbeing-and-Suicide-Prevention
A full breakdown of probable suicide deaths in West Lothian can be found here