Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Communities, world leaders, and people come together from across the globe to speak about suicide. This is something that is often masked with silence.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 35 in the UK. On average, four young people take their own lives each day, and whilst they might feel like there is no other option, many suicides can be prevented.
As a community of UWE students, we don’t have to feel helpless. So what can we do?
The first thing to do is talk. Each time we speak about suicide it starts to break down the stigma that is built up around it. This stigma stops people getting help, it is toxic. Every conversation can help. Ask your friend how they are, reach out to them, and reach out to your friends if you aren’t well. You matter, and your life is important.
We also need to keep campaigning and pushing for better services. Mental health services are facing cuts nationally, there are now 6,610 less mental health nurses and doctors in the UK since 2010. The student movement needs to keep pushing for better services that are well funded within the NHS and at UWE Bristol.
Students’ unions and universities also need to get organized, speak about this issue, and lead on work together. Together there is a lot more we can do.
Remember you are not alone. You matter, and your life is important. There are always people that you can reach out to, and people that care about you.
If you’re worried about someone or need someone to talk to, go to: papyrus-uk.org
Or contact Samaritans: samaritans.org
UWE Bristol also has the Wellbeing Service available to you Monday to Friday all year-round.
For further information, you can visit these pages: