On World Suicide Prevention Day, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust have launched ‘Life Cards’ and are encouraging people to be prepared to prevent a suicide.
The ‘Life Cards’ signpost people to key organisations that offer advice, help and support to people who are having suicidal thoughts. They also link to free vital resources and suicide prevention training to equip people with the skills and confidence that could help save someone’s life.
The cards are sized so they fit discreetly into wallets, phone pouches, card holders, pockets and bags allowing people to have the resources to hand, when and where they need them.
Every year, suicide is among the top leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. Claiming the lives of over 800,000 people worldwide each year, someone dies every 40 seconds from a suicide. Figures released last week by the Office of National Statistics show that suicide rates have increased for the first time since 2013.
Emma Wadey is Deputy Director of Nursing at Southern Health and has lived experienced of suicide in her family:
“As a child, I was bereaved by the suicide of two members of my family, one of whom was only 18 at the time - and this had a profound effect on me and my family. On both occasions, the deaths were a shock to us, as neither of them had been in contact with mental health services.
"Every death is an absolute tragedy and leaves behind a trail of devastation which lasts a lifetime. The smallest acts of kindness can make the biggest difference.
"The key is raising awareness and working in partnerships with our communities - suicide is not just a mental health problem, it is everybody’s business. Prevention of suicide should start early, with good self-care and good mental health. Life is tough and we need to support each other during these times and be brave in reaching out and seeking help. I truly believe that no suicide is inevitable.”
Life Cards will be available to pick up at reception desks in every main NHS Hospital and are free to the general public. They will also be distributed to Southern Health patients and their carers, as well as all 6,000 Southern Health staff.