On September 10, we reflect on those who have lost someone to suicide, those who have lost their lives to suicide and those who have survived.
The number one method of preventing suicides is by providing a safe space where those who are struggling can talk to people who will listen.
Emily Cotter, marketing, PR and communications officer at Leeds Mind, discusses the important ways you can help someone you know who is feeling suicidal and struggling to cope.
“If you know someone who is feeling suicidal, simply talking to them and being there to listen could be their first step towards getting help,” Ms Cotter said.
“If you feel able to have a conversation with them, start by simply asking them how they are feeling. During the conversation, give them time to express themselves. Ask open, direct questions that require more than a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Above all, take them seriously and try not to judge.
“If you don’t feel able to have the conversation, or to keep anyone involved safe (including yourself), then seek extra support. If someone is at immediate risk, then get emergency help.”
Emily says that it is important to check in on yourself too as well as the person struggling and to make sure you talk to someone if you need support.
“When you are struggling with your mental health, it can feel really lonely. But the more you open up about how you are feeling, the more you realise how many people are affected by mental health difficulties (whether personally or through someone they know),” Ms Cotter added.
“Friends and family can be an excellent source of support. If you don’t have someone you feel you can open up to, there are other ways to get this - for example, online support or local peer support groups.”
We have put together a list of charities and organisations based in Yorkshire (and national) that are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year to lend support.
However, if you need immediate medical attention or someone you know is in danger, call 999.
Charities in Yorkshire
York SamaritansFor more than 50 years, this branch has been offering its service to the people of York. The charity currently has 123 members who are either trained or are in-training to provide support to those who are struggling.
A few of its services include providing support to the university through anonymous and confidential drop-ins on campus and communicating with young people in and around schools in York about looking out for their emotional wellbeing.
If you are in need of support, you can call them on 116 123 (free of charge).
Leeds Crisis Assessment UnitThis service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who is experiencing an acute and complex mental health crisis. The team includes mental health nurses, occupational therapists, approved mental health practitioners, social workers, psychiatrists, support workers and harm reduction workers who specialise in drug and alcohol addiction.
If you need their support, you can call them on 0800 183 1485
Leeds Survivor-Led CrisisThis is a mental health charity which offers various services to help those who are struggling with a mental health crisis, particularly for children, young people and parents or carers who need someone to talk to in times of crisis.
There are three services you can use: Teen Connect, a helpline for 11-18 year olds living in Leeds, Safe Zone, a support service for 11-17 year olds living in Leeds and their parents/carers, and Night Owls, a confidential support line for children, young people and their parents/carers who live in Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. You can contact either of them below.
Teen Connect (open every day of the year Mon-Fri 3:30pm-2am Sat-Sun 6pm-2am): 0808 800 1212.
Safe Zone (referrals can be taken from 5:30pm-8:30pm any day of the week): 0113 819 8189 or 07593 529367.
Night OWLS (available every day of the week from 8pm-8am): Call this number for free: 0300 200 3900 or text: 07984 392700.
Shout 85258This is a free, confidential 24/7 text messaging service provided to anyone who is struggling to cope. The service was launched in May 2019 and since then it has had more than 750,000 conversations with people who are depressed, suicidal, anxious or stressed.
The contact information is in its name: text Shout to 85258.
PapyrusMany young suicides are preventable and Papyrus believes that talking about suicide can help end the stigma around it. The charity provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with suicidal thoughts and anyone who is concerned about a young person going through this.
The charity also stands with the LGBTQIA+ community and its support service HOPELINEUK is available for everyone and is accessible 24/7.
If you need to talk to anyone from Papyrus, call this number: 0800 068 4141.
MindOutThis charity is dedicated to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community going through a mental health crisis. It runs a Suicide Prevention Project and is accessible to anyone in the community who is struggling to cope.
You can contact MindOut on this number: 01273 234839
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)As well as supporting those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, this charity also helps those bereaved by suicide. Its helpline is available 365 days of the year 5pm-midnight.
You can contact the helpline number by calling: 0800 585858