Bereavement by suicide – let’s stand together

In the UK in 2016 there we 6,188 reported suicides and that’s 6,188 more deaths than there should have been.  And with many towns in the UK not collecting suicide data unfortunately we expect this number will be much higher.  Suicide is the biggest killer in the UK- the second biggest killer of our young people- the largest cause of death to our men. And these shocking statistics are exactly why this is something we need to face together.

This is an alarming common problem we as society simply cannot ignore. With one in four of us also struggling with our mental health we can’t turn a blind eye. If 1 in 4 doesn’t seem ‘too’ substantial consider the wider impact on friends and family? That 1 in 4 is telling us that most of society will now be affected by this in some way. And with the 6,188 deaths to suicide, many of us will be affected directly or indirectly by a death that could have been completely avoided.

Grief after suicide isn’t like any kind of grief; it might have things in common. Huge loss and longing. Funerals. Crippling grief. But it also brings with it complexities that only traumatic loss ever brings. That’s not to say bereavement of any kind is easier or harder, just different and it is vital to acknowledge those differences.

With suicide, the person chose to die. They didn’t die because their bodies gave out, or because of a tragic accident. They chose to depart. And usually those left in their world struggle to understand how this loved human being, chose death over their life with us.

Whether the next day they would have still made that choice is left to be seen.

Whether if they’d had support in that moment, it would have been different, we will never know.

What they needed in order to stay, we cannot put right.

Suicide leaves unanswered questions and that is one of the hardest parts of bereavement by suicide. The only person that could answer those questions is gone.

The one thing that’s so consistent about suicide is that it as an avoidable tragedy that is hard to ever reconcile. It destroys lives. It is different for every single person that faces it, and people often struggle to share their thoughts about suicide – which is why I believe we should start now. Start today. Start talking.

It’s the simple and open conversations that save lives. Speaking openly about mental health with those around you makes it a topic that’s easier to bring up if someone is struggling. They know you won’t judge them, you will simply listen, heart open, full of understanding and compassion.  Too many people right now who are struggling with their mental health are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Together as a society we need to break down those stigmas, we need to get talking.

“It was nothing more than a cup of tea and a chat at the right time that saved my life”.

We need to stand together in a time which can feel lonely and disconnected and in doing so we will be making a difference to so many lives. If you’re a friend of someone struggling, the most valuable support you can provide is just being there to listen.

The Tomorrow Project is a primary care pathway and is able to support people that are having thoughts of suicide or those bereaved through suicide.  We provide emotional support – this can be a cup of tea (or coffee!) and a sit down to speak about how you are feeling and we offer practical support, this can be support with things such as housing and debt.

At the heart of our service is a real sense of hope that things can get better. Our job is to help you through difficulties you’re having, even if it’s just to give you somewhere safe to come and have a coffee and a chat with our team.

If you, or any one you know may need support – please us an email at crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk or call us on 0115 880 0282. Please note, we ask that you leave a message and a support officer will get in touch with you within 1 working day.

Together we can make a difference. Together we can save lives.

Join us to celebrate 11 years of Harmless!

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

Venue:
Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB

Tickets:
£35.00 Early Bird offer (Ends on 30th April 2018)
£40 per person (Standard price)

The Event:
An evening of celebration including a three course meal, raffle, auction, games & live music

Dress code:
Smart

The purpose:
To raise enough money to save more lives!

The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.

Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

For more information or to book tickets please visit our online shop below or contact us:

Tickets: www.harmless.org.uk/store
Email: admin@harmless.org.uk
Phone: 0115 880 0280

The Tomorrow Project bus

We are really proud and excited to announce that as of today we will have our TP message on the back of the number one NCT bus!!!

Huge thanks to Nottingham City Transport for collaborating and fully funding the bus which will run along the number 1 route of the Navy line from Nottingham City Centre to Loughborough, via Clifton, Gotham and East Leake.

We have worked so hard for this project to become a reality and it fills us all with such happiness to see this take shape. By having our message on a main line bus means we will be able to reach people in distress, who we have never been able to reach before. Ultimately this means we can save more lives.

Suicide remains a socially taboo subject, with The Tomorrow Project bus we are doing even more to pave the way on challenging the stigma in this field.

An estimated 1 in 20 people contemplate suicide every year, thoughts of suicide are far more common than we might like to believe with attempts 40-100 times more common than deaths by suicide. It may seem small; our message on the back of a bus, but actually this will be reaching someone and could save a life. We couldn’t be more proud.

If you see our bus on route please share a photo on social media! We can’t wait to see them.

 

Our CEO Caroline Harroe awarded The High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire Award

Today Adrienne, our Clinical Operations Manager, received an award on Caroline’s behalf.  The award is from the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and is for her commitment to services for others.

Adrienne said “It is an absolute pleasure to represent our CEO Caroline Harroe today, collecting her award from The High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in recognition of great and valuable services to the community. Well done Caroline Harroe and the team for your compassion, dedication and contribution in enhancing the life of the community.”

Caroline says “I’m really proud to be given such recognition but everything I achieve, I achieve because I am supported by a phenomenal team that do life saving work.”

“The team at Harmless work tirelessly throughout the whole year and what we do is hard but really privileged work. We hear the painful stories of people’s struggle and their losses. We also get to hear the successes, the recoveries and hear of the comfort that we bring to people in pain.”

“We are a non profit organisation and rely on the support of the community to keep our life saving services afloat. We couldn’t do it without you.

Recently we have been supported by Zoe Ball and the Sport Relief Campaign Team.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Zoe lost her partner to suicide last May. As such she has decided to undertake a sport relief challenge to raise money for comic relief but also to raise awareness about the issues she and her partner, faced.

We were privileged enough to spend some time with Zoe over the course of the filming and get to know her story. Billy had long suffered from depression and died in May as a result of his struggle.

Zoe will spend the next five days cycling Blackpool to Brighton on her #HardestRoadHome cycle and will be on BBC breakfast each morning to raise awareness of the cycle and to get people talking about mental health.

There will also be a documentary on the evening of March the 21st that will feature our work with The Tomorrow Project and then again throughout the campaign evening of the 23rd of March.

Please show your support for the challenge, for all that Zoe stands for and is fighting for and facing herself, and please tune in to the documentary.

We’ve worked so hard to bring the suicide prevention and bereavement agenda to light in this piece of work and we hope that this is a good opportunity to galvanise the support and momentum needed to keep our wonderful services in the position they need to be – saving lives.

To support us: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

To sponsor Zoe directly: https://www.sportrelief.com/news-and-tv/zoes-hardest-road-home

Exercise and mental health

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and if we consider the wider impact on our friends and family, then actually most of society will be affected in some way.

Mental illness can have an impact on a person’s cognitive, behavioural and social functioning and can be a liberating illness.

Exercise is well recognized as an effective treatment for people suffering from acute and chronic mental illness and is recognized for alleviating depressive symptoms.

Exercise can make a big difference in mood and should be a fundamental part of mental health treatment. Even one workout a week is known to have great benefits.

By adding exercise into your life you could see benefits in improved mood, sleeping better, feeling more energized, healthy coping and release of ‘happy’ hormones called endorphins.

Cycling to save lives…the longest road home.

With exercise on the mind we wanted to let you know that we have recently been working with Zoe Ball and the Sport Relief Campaign Team.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Zoe lost her partner to suicide last May. As such she has decided to undertake a sport relief challenge to raise money for comic relief but also to raise awareness about the issues she and her partner, faced.

We were privileged enough to spend some time with Zoe over the course of the filming and get to know her story. Billy had long suffered from depression and died in May as a result of his struggle.

Zoe will spend the next five days cycling Blackpool to Brighton on her #HardestRoadHome cycle and will be on BBC breakfast each morning to raise awareness of the cycle and to get people talking about mental health.

There will also be a documentary on the evening of March the 21st that will feature our work with The Tomorrow Project and then again throughout the campaign evening of the 23rd of March.

Please show your support for the challenge, for all that Zoe stands for and is fighting for and facing herself, and please tune in to the documentary.

We’ve worked so hard to bring the suicide prevention and bereavement agenda to light in this piece of work and we hope that this is a good opportunity to galvanise the support and momentum needed to keep our wonderful services in the position they need to be – saving lives.

To support us: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

To support Zoe: https://www.sportrelief.com/news-and-tv/zoes-hardest-road-home

Graphic design work placement opportunity

Times; flexible.

Harmless are looking to recruit a volunteer who can support the development of a number of campaign materials to support our work in suicide prevention. The successful candidate should be able to give a few hours a week to support the concept development and construction of some digital media images that can communicate to our audience about the work that we do, it’s value and ultimately help us to drive fundraising.

The individual should be able to generate ideas and concepts, take the leadership of the broader Harmless team and be committed to the cause of mental health and suicide prevention.

To apply, please contact caroline@harmless.org.uk with your details and a summary of your interests and skills.

To all of our supporters…

We wanted to let you know that we have recently been working with Zoe Ball and the Sport Relief Campaign Team.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Zoe lost her partner to suicide last May. As such she has decided to undertake a sport relief challenge to raise money for comic relief but also to raise awareness about the issues she and her partner, faced.

We were privileged enough to spend some time with Zoe over the course of the filming and get to know her story. Billy had long suffered from depression and died in May as a result of his struggle.

Zoe will spend the next five days cycling Blackpool to Brighton on her #HardestRoadHome cycle and will be on BBC breakfast each morning to raise awareness of the cycle and to get people talking about mental health.

There will also be a documentary on the evening of March the 21st that will feature our work with The Tomorrow Project and then again throughout the campaign evening of the 23rd of March.

Please show your support for the challenge, for all that Zoe stands for and is fighting for and facing herself, and please tune in to the documentary.

We’ve worked so hard to bring the suicide prevention and bereavement agenda to light in this piece of work and we hope that this is a good opportunity to galvanise the support and momentum needed to keep our wonderful services in the position they need to be – saving lives.

To support us: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

To sponsor Zoe directly: https://www.sportrelief.com/news-and-tv/zoes-hardest-road-home

In the News – Some mental health services are telling patients: ‘If you really wanted to kill yourself, you would have done it’

People are encouraged to seek help if they are feeling suicidal like never before. Yet a deadly new mix of funding cuts and dangerous ideas about suicide are leaving many people with long-term conditions at greater risk.

Tom is 22 and has made a couple of serious attempts on his life following prolonged periods of depression. “When I regained consciousness after the last attempt”, he said, “I was told ‘If you really want to kill yourself, you would have done it’.” Tom, like many other people, feels like when he now contacts the crisis team, they treat him brusquely. “It is like they will only take me seriously if I actually die”, he continued. “I am told again and again ‘well if you really want to kill yourself, that’s your choice’.”

We are not talking about nuanced Schopenhauerian conversations about the right to die here. In the context of deep despair, the idea of choice is a deadly one, absolving the other party from doing everything they can to help the person in pain. If one is suicidal it is very difficult to feel any hope that things might change; one is often exhausted. It is crucial that hope is held actively by mental health professionals at these bleakest moments in a life.

To read the full article, please visit: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/mental-health-nhs-suicide-crisis-untrained-staff-high-risk-underfunding-a8110186.html 

From Harm to Hope, 1st March 2018

Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Thursday 1st March 2018, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is ‘self harm: suicide prevention starts here’.

JOIN US

Self harm conference

£150 per delegate place

or

2 places for £200

 

Themes for the day

– Driving change

– Collaborative partnership

– Service user representation

– Effective practice

– Overcoming stigma & discrimination

 

Speakers Include:

Professor Louis Appleby

Dr Karen Slade

Caroline Harroe

Laura Dunkley & Michelle Harden

 

COME ONE, COME ALL

Click HERE for tickets