World Suicide Prevention Day

Today marks World Suicide Prevention Day, held on the 10th September every year. The day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation, and aims to reach out to people who may be struggling.

Why is it important?

Last year, 5,821 people died by suicide. Three-quarters of those 5,821 people were male. During 2016-17, 95 students in higher education died by suicide, with significantly higher rates of suicide for male, compared with female students. In response to the concern over student mental health, Universities UK, in collaboration with the prevention of young suicide UK charity Papyrus, recently published guidance on preventing suicide in young people at Universities.

What can I do?

Reaching out to someone today, particularly if you think someone you know may be struggling, can make a difference. Check in with them and see how they are. Advice on how to start the conversation is available from IASP, Rethink Mental Illness, Mind, and support guides from the Support After Suicide Partnership (Help is at Hand, pages 49-52; Finding the words). Information on how suicide bereavement is different is also provided by Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide.

What to do in a crisis

If you or someone that you know is experiencing a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency:

  • Call 999 and ask for an ambulance (or ask someone else to call for you)
  • Go to A & E (or ask someone else to take you)

Urgent care, but not life-threatening

  • Call 111 (England)
  • Book an emergency GP appointment

Use the ‘I need urgent help’ tool offered by Mind.

Further information on what to do in a mental health crisis or emergency is provided by the NHS. Help for suicidal thoughts can also be found on the NHS website.

Helplines

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like someone to talk to, you may find the following support lines useful:

Papyrus

Advice for young people at risk of suicide
0800 068 4141 (helpline 10am – 10pm, Monday – Friday and 2pm – 5pm, weekends and bankholidays)
07786 209697 (SMS)
www.papyrus-uk.org

Samaritans

116 123 (Freephone, 24 hour helpline)
www.samaritans.org

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

For those personally affected by suicide
0300 111 5065 (9am to 9pm)
https://uksobs.org/

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

A charity dedicated to preventing male suicides
0800 58 58 58 (5pm  – midnight every day)
07537 404717 (SMS)
www.thecalmzone.net

Sane Line

Offering specialist mental health emotional support 4.30-10.30pm everyday. You can also email through their website.

Tel: 0300 304 7000. Web: www.sane.org.uk

 

Blog post written by Dr Rachel Moss, Research Associate (University of Portsmouth) for the Office for Students postgraduate research student wellbeing project.

Launch of UK Mental Health Networks

On the 6th September, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announced the creation of eight new national mental health networks, funded by UKRI and the Government.

What do the new mental health networks address?

The networks are a collaborative effort between charities, researchers, as well as a wide variety of other organisations (e.g., regional and national arts councils) across the UK. The networks aim to understand the causes and development of mental health problems, as well as to explore new treatment options.

What are the research topics that the networks will focus on?

The research topics that the networks address are far reaching, and range from youth and student mental health, to addressing health inequalities in people with severe mental health problems. The eight mental health networks are as follows:

  • The Emerging Minds: Action for Child Mental Health network (led by Professor Cathy Creswell , University of Reading) will explore ways in which children, young people, and their families can experience the benefits of advances in research.
  • The ‘Closing the Gap’ Network+ (led by Professor Simon Gilbody,  University of York) to understand and close the life expectancy gap between those who do and do not have severe mental health problems.
  • The Loneliness and social isolation in mental health network (led by Professor Sonia Johnson, UCL) aims to reduce loneliness and social isolation in those with mental health problems.
  • The MARCH: Social, Cultural and Community Assets for Mental Health network (led by Dr Daisy Fancourt, UCL) aims to understand how social, cultural and community factors can improve and support mental health and wellbeing, as well as preventing problems from occurring in future.
  • The SMARtEN: Student Mental Health Research Network (led by Dr Nicola Byrom, King’s College London) aims to provide data on the state of mental wellbeing in students in higher education, as well as to support them.
  • The Nurture Network: Promoting Young People’s Mental Health in a Digital World (led by Professor Gordon Harold, University of Sussex) aims to explore the effect of digital technology on the mental health of children and young people, as well as with their interactions with their family, school, and peers.
  • The Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health (TRIUMPH) network (led by Professor Lisa McDaid, University of Glasgow) aims to explore ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.
  • The Violence, Abuse and Mental Health: Opportunities for Change network (led by Professor Louise Howard and Dr Sian Oram, Kings College London) aims to explore how domestic and sexual violence, as well as abuse, impacts mental health and wellbeing, and to assess interventions.

Blog post written by Dr Rachel Moss, Research Assistant (University of Portsmouth) for the Office for Students postgraduate research student wellbeing project.