A message from Helen, our Suicide Bereavement Worker

I’m writing this in rainy Leicester and reflecting on the week that has gone by. My personal experience of this week outside of my working life has been a reflection of my working life in the respect that the topic of conversation has been around suicide. A friend’s relation had taken their own life, and then on the news was the tragic story of Caroline Flack.

What seems to be clear to me, is that we all vulnerable to thoughts of suicide at times in our lives, but the thing that might prevent us from acting on these thoughts is having the right kind support at the right time. For the lucky ones in our society this role is filled by family and friends that we can offload our feeling with, and share the emotional isolation that goes with thoughts such as these. For others just the stigma attached to admitting thoughts like this creates a barrier to sharing that is hard to overcome. These can be the perception of being seen as weak, not able to cope, being ‘heavy and ‘intense’, being ‘difficult and depressing to be around’, as well as being labelled as having mental health problems. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that people make the decision not to share suicidal thoughts and perhaps don’t receive the help and support they need. What never fails to surprise me is the amount of people who disclose suicidal thoughts that they have had at some point in their lives, when they feel that they are in a safe and non- threatening environment. It really is quite common! What is also apparent is that these people have never shared those thoughts with anyone and certainly never did at the time. At the Tomorrow Project we are always starting the conversation, without stigma or judgement because it is a topic that really needs to be addressed both locally and nationally. We want to remove the stigma around suicide that prevents it being a conversation that affects and determines mental health policy, and encourages an open debate about suicide and mental health. I hope that these few days and all the media interest propels the topic of suicide not just as a subject that affects celebrities that are harassed and pursued by the media, but as a subject that affects all individuals and communities in the UK at some point and is an indicator that people’s mental health needs are not being met.

“Women: A Photographic Exhibition”, a fundraiser to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020

Harmless is proud to announce that they will be holding a photographic exhibition and spoken word event at Backlit Gallery, Nottingham, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020. This critical event will raise the profile of female suicide by celebrating diversity in womanhood.

Recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show that in 2017 there were 6,507 registered suicides in the UK. 75% of these were men. The suicide rate in 2018 (11.2 deaths per 100,000) was 11.8% higher than in 2017 – the first increase since 2013.

The suicide rate among females aged 10–24 years has increased significantly to its highest recorded level since 1981. From 2017 to 2018 the rate increased by 18%, and it has increased by 83% since 2012.

Harmless has been quietly working on the next phase of their ‘everyone’s.business’ awareness project. Responding to the new statistics about suicide, they have been focusing their work around the often unmet needs of women and will be hosting the first national conference on female suicide on Friday 28th February 2020.

In an effort to raise the conversation about female suicide, this year their photographic project focuses upon the specific needs, vulnerabilities and strengths of women in a celebration of womanhood.

This event gives the general public their first chance to view the exhibition and to find out more about mental health issues and Harmless.

“The photographic project is focused upon exploring what it means to be a woman, looking at the individuality of womanhood and paying attention to the needs, vulnerabilities and strengths of women as we try to raise the profile of female suicide. Together, let’s celebrate humanity and the strengths of women in all walks of life, united in our difference.” Caroline Harroe, CEO Harmless

Spoken word performances will be presented by SANE SISTAS, a collective of women sharing lived experience of surviving trauma and adversity. Featured performers include Ravelle-Sadé, Sunita Third and Micha Bradshaw. There will also be music from Holly Fallon.

Harmless has worked closely on this project with well-respected local photographer Thomas Griffiths, who is based in Nottingham City Centre, and who has worked tirelessly on this exhibition. The collaboration shows the importance of community and local support, and working together to make a difference.

The exhibition will be open from 1pm on Sunday March 8th at Backlit Gallery, with a spoken word event, bar and welcome drinks from 4pm.

To register your interest, please click the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrating-women-photographic-exhibition-tickets-92339436741

Want to meet our next amazing woman?

The next in our series of images celebrating the needs, vulnerabilities and most importantly, the strengths of women introduces @thesarahmanton

Sarah runs Curious in Snienton Market creating designs from paper for her clients, twice for the royal family. She’s now also working on The People’s Forest, a project that is aiming to plant new trees throughout Nottingham in order to reconnect the city with Sherwood Forest.

 

Suicide impacts us all and is #everyonesbusiness

The Tomorrow Project are today showcasing our photography project for World Suicide Prevention Day.

The Photography Project is a visual story that makes the issue of suicide an accessible one across communities. The exhibition helps to promote a dialogue to give people with lived experience a voice and to give testimony to overcoming difficulties and reach out to people who might need  help. Harmless and The Tomorrow Project  want to convey a message of help.

We would like to thank BBC radio Nottingham and also Hannah for taking part in their piece with Val to share their transformative therapeutic relationship and journey of recovery.

Please join us today at Rough Trade on Broad Street in Nottingham for our photography showcase from 1pm to 6pm