Mental Health: Suicide Prevention

I am extremely passionate and enthusiastic about raising awareness of mental health. I have mental health problems, I want to support and help individuals that have and are experiencing the same thoughts and feelings as myself.

Discrimination, stigma and horrendous terminology that unfortunately still exists for us men such as man up and grow some balls, effects people from talking and seeking the support they need and deserve.

Talking about mental health is essential and vital, it can strengthen relationships and friendships, break down all these negative stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that affects us all. These attitudes are damaging, i have talked about my own struggles with trauma, depression and anxiety and I encourage other people to do the same, reach out and start talking. It’s ok to cry, there is no shame in this and it’s ok NOT to be ok.

In my blog post I am focusing on stress, as research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year, and stress is a key factor in this.

By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide.

The tragedy of suicide is preventable. Early identification and effective action can get people the care they need. We know that men 20-29 and 40-49 are most at risk, and suicide is the leading cause of death among men under 50.

We need greater understanding about the thoughts behind suicidal thinking and awareness about suicide, its devastating impact on families, friends and communities and the steps we can take collectively to prevent more deaths.

Much progress has been made in tackling stigma, discrimination and increasing awareness of suicide – but the responsibility cannot sit with health

professionals alone.

In my personal option I believe that restricting access to means of suicide will lead to fewer instances of suicide. Public awareness campaigns to support more effective intervention and the responsible reporting of suicide in print, broadcast, internet and on social media can reduce stigma about mental health issues and encourage people to seek help. Improved mental health training and education in schools is vital so that young people are better equipped to ask for help.

Prevention and early intervention is fundamental to suicide prevention. The Society calls upon the Government agencies and other organisations to act upon the following recommendations:

The Government must ensure investment in research into public mental health interventions and research into innovative brief psychosocial to reduce suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviours and deaths by suicide

Whilst there has been some progress made in tackling stigma and discrimination there is still considerable work to be done. Improved training and education in health, social care and educational settings are needed to understand better the barriers in asking for help. This requires increased Government investment to support it and expert psychological input to ensure it is appropriately designed and delivered

Health Departments should ensure those discharged from hospital should receive a follow-up appointment within three days.

Patients need to be respected, listened and understood when attending consultations regarding there mental health rather than just been sent off with a contact number for a national helpline after trusting and confiding in the nurse. It’s absolutely shocking, it’s time to change. Let’s all stand together and make that change happen and end the stigma and discrimination of mental health. You are not alone.

Steven Connelly

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