‘Connect. Communicate. Care.’on World Suicide Prevention Day

 ‘Connect. Communicate. Care.’on World Suicide Prevention Day

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is using the opportunity of World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) to highlight the importance of checking in with someone if you are concerned about them and asking them how they are feeling.

The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Connect. Communicate. Care’.

Fiona Teague, Health Improvement and Social Wellbeing Manager with the PHA, said: “We would encourage people to start a caring conversation with someone they may be concerned about. Let the person know that you are concerned about them. Give them the space to explain what is going on with them and how they are feeling and let them know that you will support them to find the help that they need.

“Asking questions about suicide does not give someone ideas,” said Fiona. “By asking the person the question, ‘are you thinking about suicide?’ you are acknowledging their distress and giving them the chance to talk about something that is probably very frightening for them. Talking about how they are feeling could be the first step towards recovery.”

A new leaflet – ‘Concerned about Suicide?’ – has been produced which contains information on what you can say and do to help someone and is available at www,pha.site/concerned

More information on looking after mental health and the support which is available across Northern Ireland can be found at www.mindingyourhead.info

 You can also talk to your GP for advice.

If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also access the Lifeline website at www.lifelinehelpline.info

Notes to the editor

The Samaritans guidelines on reporting suicide can be accessed here: www.samaritans.org/your-community/samaritans-work-ireland/media-guidelines-ireland