World Suicide Prevention Day – Creating Hope Through Action

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on 10 September. This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is Creating Hope Through Action.

Everyone can make a difference

Sometimes the smallest thing can make a big impact when someone else is going through a hard time. This could be as simple as reaching out to your friend if you notice a change or having a healthy and open conversation about their mental health and wellbeing.

It could also be something as simple as going for a walk or doing some exercise.

Every single one of us has mental health, just as we all have physical health. It is normal to have times when you do not feel well, but when this begins to impact your day-to-day life then it is time to reach out for support.

What to look out for

Spot the signs for those who may be feeling suicidal:

  • feelings of hopelessness, rage or uncontrolled anger
  • the desire to seek revenge
  • acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • increased alcohol or drug use
  • withdrawing from friends, family and society
  • anxiety and agitation
  • an inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • dramatic mood changes.

Remember that these signs are not comprehensive, and people display their emotions in different ways. Never be afraid to check in with a friend, colleague, or family member. Discussing suicide does not make it more likely that someone will have or act upon suicidal thoughts.

We’re here for you

When you study with us at college, we offer all students a comprehensive package of professional mental health and physical support.

This includes counselling services, a college nurse (Oxfordshire only) and health and wellbeing advice from our dedicated Student Support team, who are available on every campus.

We have a team of Safeguarding and child protection specialists to respond if you are worried about your own or somebody else’s health, safety or wellbeing, on or off campus.

You can get confidential support for the following:

  • Relationship issues
  • Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Work or study problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Other issues, including disabilities and eating disorders

As well as your peers and the professional services we offer, we also have connections with charities and organisations including Mind, Samaritans, Kooth, No5 (based in Reading) and local crisis teams in emergency situations.

We work alongside the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in Oxford, the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in Berkshire and the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

Remember, if you have a concern about someone, take a minute to talk and ask if they are okay. Just having a person to speak to can seriously benefit someone’s mental health and wellbeing and can give them the confidence they need to seek the professional support needed to thrive once more.

If you are worried about yourself or someone else, please call the Student Support team on 01865 550401 or visit them on campus, the Samaritans on 116 123, or in an emergency call 999.