Isle of Wight Council

08 Sep 2022

Working together to prevent suicide

Do you know where to go for help?

That's the question being posed by the Isle of Wight Council and its partners this World Suicide Prevention Day (Saturday 10 September).

This year's campaign was inspired by people with lived experience who, despite having been affected by suicide or by losing a loved one, said they still wouldn't know where to go for help if they, or if someone they knew, had suicidal thoughts.

This is why the council is promoting 'Life Cards' to make sure people have quick access to life-saving organisations, apps and resources that can offer them help and support if they or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts.  

The cards have been created with the input and feedback of more than 100 people with lived experience as well as clinical and non-clinical staff.

The cards themselves are small enough to fit easily in a purse, wallet or mobile phone case. They are available from local libraries and community hubs with further information available at https://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/help-crisis 

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for public health, said: "It's really important that, at times when life is harder, we look after ourselves, our neighbours and that we have good mental health. We can do that by talking to each other, by caring for each other and by doing, sometimes, just the smallest of things.

"One of those things which I like to keep in my telephone case is the Life Card. The Life Card gives you information on where to go for help. Often the most important thing about suicide is actually being able to find help at the right time, in the right place.

"We have got the most wonderful island with a caring population so I'm asking you to care that little bit extra now, especially during these winter months; checking on your neighbours, helping them to stay safe and just being friendly and supportive.

"So, carry your Life Card with you. Use it when you need to. And you can simply put it in a place where somebody else can pick it up if that's the only way that you feel you can communicate with them.

"We're here to support you. Don't sit at home and worry. Talk to somebody. Be safe."

Asking someone if they’re suicidal won’t make things worse. Evidence shows it could protect them.

If someone is feeling suicidal, it might be hard to get through to them. They might be distant or distracted or feel disconnected from the world and their own emotions.

They might not respond right away. But asking someone directly if they’re having suicidal thoughts can give them permission to tell you how they feel.

If someone does let you know that they are having suicidal thoughts, always take them seriously. You don’t have to be an expert, just being there to listen and showing you care can help them work through what’s going on.

Let them know they’re not a burden and there’s always someone they can turn to – whether it’s a family member or friend, or a 24/7 helpline like Samaritans.

The Zero Suicide Alliance, an NHS charity, offers FREE online training to equip people with the skills and confidence to have a potentially life-saving conversation with someone they are worried about. 

The training takes just 20 minutes and could help to save a life. Please see zerosuicidealliance.com/training 

Councillor Michael Lilley, the council's mental health champion, said: "A life is lost through suicide every two hours in the UK, and suicidal thoughts and feelings affect thousands of people every day. These aren’t just statistics. It’s someone’s family, their friends, and their work colleagues.

"Everyone has a role to play and by working together can address the challenges that are presented by suicidal behaviours and raise awareness that suicide can be prevented.

"Anyone can have suicidal thoughts, but everyone can offer support and make a difference.

"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."

Where to go for help:

Samaritans - 116 123. Calls are free and do not show on a phone bill.

NHS 111

SHOUT 85258 — A free text messaging service which provides 24/7 support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. 

Papyrus UK — Providing help and hope for young people with thoughts of suicide.

Local Isle of Wight support:

Safe Haven - Newport

Safe Haven services provide a safe space for people experiencing a mental health crisis. Support can be accessed by telephone, email or face to face during evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

Where: 7 High Street, Newport PO30 1SS. Phone: (01983) 520168
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 5pm until 10pm; weekends and bank holidays, 12 noon until 10pm.

Safe Haven - Ryde
Where: 10 Lind Street, Ryde, PO33 2NQ. Phone: 07976 416051. Email: safehaven@twosaints.org.uk
Opening hours: Friday, 5pm until 9pm; weekends 1pm until 9pm.

Isle of Wight Youth Trust 
The trust offers a drop in session every Wednesday, between 2pm and 5pm, for young Islanders aged 13 and over. Where: The Hub, 114 Pyle Street, Newport, PO30 1XA.

Isle Find it
Isle Find It has lots of useful links to various services that are freely available to everyone. Services include those dedicated to a range of topics. Simply visit, https://islefindit.org.uk

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Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for public health, with Simon Bryant, director of public health
Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for public health, with Simon Bryant, director of public health
Factfile
  • This year's campaign was inspired by people with lived experience who, despite having been affected by suicide or by losing a loved one, said they still wouldn't know where to go for help.
  • The council is promoting 'Life Cards' to make sure people have quick access to life-saving organisations, apps and resources that can offer them help and support.
 
Isle of Wight, UK