Every 40 seconds.

*Please be aware this post talks of suicide, those needing support are encouraged to ring one of many hotlines or in immediate danger present at your local a+e.

This year the world mental health awareness day theme is suicide prevention and whilst my personal thoughts on world mental health day are inconclusive, I wanted to take a little of your time to talk about such an important issue in today’s society.

“One person every 40 seconds dies from suicide.”

Suicide. The word itself has a stigma.

You say it, look around and feel like someone will hush you.

Its a topic people are scared to talk about. Scared that by talking about it we will encourage or increase it.

This is simply not true.

Conversation, we know has the power to change lives. In this case conversation has the power to save a life. The shine a light on suicide campaign in Greater Manchester works on this motion and more. 

I recently lost one of my close friends to suicide. I knew of her struggles, of how every single day she battled poor mental health. Everyday was a fight for Faye. But I also knew of her. She was the girl who made amazing cakes. Was incredible at craft. Sang and danced. She was the one who always had the right words no matter the situation. And the one who’s smile well and truly lit up the room.She was a fighter, despite her struggles she was there no matter what. Me and Faye spent every Wednesday evening together singing at Manchester Mental Health Choir, Bee Vocal and like me Faye worked across Greater Manchester as a Mental Health advocate campaigning for change in services.

Faye is missed from mine, and others life’s greatly and I can only hope she found the peace and happiness that she deserved.

For me loosing Faye in December made it all too real. 

How suicide is stigmatised, not spoken about and creates that awkward silence in the room. Working as a mental health activist, I have always see the importance of campaigning to change the horrific suicide statistics we have today, numbers like…

 - One person every 40 seconds dies from suicide.

- The rate in suicide in the UK rose to a 16-year high this year.

- Each year an estimated 48 million people experience grief to suicide loss worldwide.

But like most things in life, until I was one of the statistics I didn’t realise quite how much needs to change. Until this statistic changed from a number on a piece of paper to my life like many I didn’t feel the full impact. When we lost Faye, I vowed to stand up and speak about this, to help make the change we need to see. I vowed to help others see that yes, these statistics are horrendous, but whats worse is the story behind each and number and statistic.

If there is one thing I can urge you to do this World Mental Health Day, I want it to be that you follow this link, and maybe one day you can save a life:

http://www.shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk

We don’t loose people to mental health one day a year. We loose people every single minute. Let’s not use this day in vain, to simply only talk. So much more than talking needs to take place. We need action. And we need it soon.

-Lauren x

public.jpeg