Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Tomorrow Project is a confidential,
community based suicide prevention service
The Tomorrow Project launched two new pathways on the 12th September; suicide crisis and suicide bereavement. Working at The Tomorrow Project on the suicide crisis pathway has opened up eyes and hearts to those in need.
There were 6,122 suicides of people aged 10 and over registered in the UK in 2014 as published by the office for national statistics. This is 6,122 more than there should have been.
We have seen the referrals and interest in this pathway grow and grow, this emphasises the importance of the project. After seeing the difference, one chat and one cup of tea can make. When a client comes in full of distress and sadness, to leaving filled with hope for the next day, and the days after that. Not only have you possibly filled someone’s day with a little bit of joy, you’ve maybe saved a life.
The work we do here at the Tomorrow Project Crisis Pathway is vital. We help clients keep engaged in their lives, we work towards making their situations better, both practically and emotionally, but most of all, we offer compassion. We offer support. We offer validation. We fight the stigmas that surround suicide. We remind people they aren’t the bad that happened to them. They are important. They are valid. They are loved.
If you need any support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 9348447, leaving a message including your name, contact details and a crisis worker will contact you within 1 working day.
In early 1941, a man named Haakon joined up with the 35th Squadron of His Majesty’s Royal Air Force to fight the Nazis. He served as a tail gunner and flew on many missions including the bombing of Paris. In late 1941, Haakon was shot down over Hamburg, Germany. His face was scraped up and he was struck three times in the back of his neck by shell fragments. He would soon get promoted to 1st Lieutenant and serve the majority of the rest of the war in York, England teaching advanced tactics to members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Haakon returned to the United States, got a job as a mason, was married, and had two children. He would later suffer from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder from his time in the war. In 1966, just shy of his fiftieth birthday, he died by suicide.
I, a 30-year-old American man, didn’t know any of these details about my grandfather until recently when I stumbled upon old newspapers online. We didn’t talk about Haakon when I was a child because my father, Haakon’s son, was ashamed of the way Haakon died and kept him a secret.
The stigma of Haakon’s death loomed over my father for his entire life, and in 2009 my father took his own life at the age of 60 while going through a divorce with my mother.
In 2011, after my father’s death, a falling out with my mother, and a bad break up; I nearly took my life as well. Not wanting to die and knowing my two predecessors didn’t speak up; I finally opened up and got help.
Statistically speaking, people who have had suicides in their family are at greater risk to make a suicide attempt. I can’t help but think that if Haakon’s story hadn’t included his time in the Royal Air Force; then Douglas might not have died, and my story would look different as well. You can’t change the past but you can create your future, and so I wanted to go back to where it all began-the United Kingdom.
For years, I’ve been inching to get to the bottom of male suicide – not just an American thing or a British thing, but a problem worldwide. Statistically in the US and UK, men above 50 years of age have a high rate of suicide – roughly 75% of suicides in both the US and UK are male and worldwide there is an average of one suicide per forty seconds. I wanted to know what we could do to prevent that. To do so I interviewed Dr. Max Mackay-James, a doctor based in the UK, who founded Conscious Ageing Trust and Men Beyond 50.
Q1: Is suicide learned-behaviour or is it truly preventable?
A1: It is preventable – there is nothing inevitable about suicide. Every suicide involves a choice, and in every case the choice can go either way. In any moment we can decide to kill ourselves, or we can choose to stay alive.
Every man or woman alive has more than likely had the thought, however fleeting, that in this moment, in this situation, he or she could choose to kill him or herself. That’s okay – it’s a thought comes with simply being human. But we have a choice and help and hope does exist in this world.
Whether you’re in crisis or if you want to help someone in crisis – it’s important to develop the feeling of being vulnerable, especially us men. Why? Because it allows us to feel empathy for others so we look out for each other more, but even more important it gives us compassion for ourselves. We men get into the habit of thinking we are invulnerable, and it’s simply not the case.
Q2: What is it about men aged 50+ that causes risk for suicide?
A2: The way men are brought up to believe what it takes to “be a man” may add to the risks. When traditional expectations of men about power and control no longer work in today’s society, intense feelings of shame, disgrace, and sense of personal failure can result in potentially self-destructive behaviour.
Loneliness and isolation can increase the risks of suicide. Research on male social networks shows that both 30+ and 50+ men may have fewer supportive relationships, and that (compared with women) men may lack skills and experience in coping emotionally.
Q3: How can we lend a hand to men aged 50+ in crisis of thinking of suicide?
A3: Simply remember to stay in touch with a feeling of vulnerability. Don’t judge, don’t panic, and don’t feel you have to be an expert. Being open to this feeling of vulnerability will give us a good chance to help somebody thinking seriously about suicide.
Since mental illness is so common in suicides, the “canary” warning sign is likely to be depression. So being able to recognise this and letting that person talk especially in a time of deep unhappiness or distress can make all the difference. Giving our own emotional support and signposting somebody to get appropriate and timely professional help can and does help prevent suicides.
UK Resources: Helplines and support groups Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) A 24-hour service available every day of the year.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) (0800 58 58 58) A resource and helpline for young men who are feeling unhappy.
Silver Line (0800 4 70 80 90) A helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people
Source: Huffington post
Suicide is everyone’s business: make your pledge to do your bit to help at #Imlistening
Harmless (www.harmless.org.uk) and it’s Tomorrow Project, a self harm and suicide prevention service based in Nottingham, are calling upon everyone, not just professionals, to take responsibility for suicide prevention.
Every year suicide claims over 6000 deaths and is the second biggest killer of young people in the UK. With the recent high profile suicide of actor Robin Williams the world is united in a well overdue discussion about suicide but is just saying ‘that’s so sad’ really a good enough response?
Suicide isn’t someone else’s problem; it’s something that can touch us all. It isn’t just something that effects other people – if a comic genius of our time can lose his battle against the relentless hopelessness that comes with depression, isn’t it time we have an open discussion about our own vulnerabilities and how we can help the battle against suicide?
In those dark times, the simplest of things can make the difference. The difference between life and death can sometimes be as simple as the offering of help from a stranger, a point made salient by Rethink’s Johnny Benjamin, or a friend being on the end of the phone when we need it the most.
Often people who are suicidal feel at their most alone at the time that they make the decision to end their lives. People need people. We each need to be heard and to be comforted; to have someone listen to us without judgment. Having that can make all the difference. It may not fix problems, mend broken hearts or heal depression, nor will it replace the potential need for professional support but it can be enough to get through that moment; from the night and into another tomorrow.
Harmless.org.uk is launching a campaign to unite people in action against suicide. We encourage everyone to do their bit for suicide prevention and believe that if everyone is prepared to listen to someone in need of help, together we can save lives. Harmless and its Tomorrow Project are appealing to everyone to make a pledge to those they know and love, by simply telling them that they’ll listen and care.
So please, share the hashtag #ImListening and if you can, also do the following;
1. Share the #ImListening graphic – you could set the logo as your profile picture and share on social networking sites.
2. Make your pledge by copying the statement: #ImListening, are you?
3. Make a £1 donation to suicide prevention services at: www.harmless.org.uk/store.
Harmless and its Tomorrow Project hope that by getting people to listen, they can help save the life of a loved one. Suicide is final, there is no going back. Suicide leaves behind devastation and affects not only friends and family but wider communities.
More information about this campaign can be found at www.harmless.org.uk or by visiting our social media pages on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
We’re listening, are you?
For information on how to help and what to look out for, go to: For advice on where to get help and how to respond to someone who you think is suicidal, go to http://www.harmless.org.uk/blog/robin-williams-and-the-tragic-sadness-of-suicide-how-you-can-help.html http://www.harmless.org.uk/blog/what-helps-people-stay-alive-the-work-of-harmless.html http://www.harmless.org.uk/blog/the-risk-of-suicide-or-serious-self-harm.html