Working Together to Prevent Suicide is the theme of the 2019 World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September).
More than 800,000 people die by suicide annually. That means one person every 40 seconds ends their life. Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 in many European countries For every one suicide 25 people make a suicide attempt. 135 people are affected by each suicide death. This equates to 108 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year.
So this World Suicide Prevention Day and every day take a minute to reach out to someone, whether that's a complete stranger, close family member or friend. We are all part of a community, but sometimes we become isolated and disconnected from our communities.
If you are worried about someone, reach out and ask them “are you okay?” Encourage anyone in distress to tell their own story in their way and at their pace. Taking a minute to reach out to someone like this could change the course of another’s life.
It's also important to recognise depression in yourself or another person. Depression frequently comes before a suicide, and we should never forget that mental and physical health are connected – after all, it's in the same body. Regular exercise has been proven through plenty of research over the years to boost someone's mood, which can either mean someone totally avoids depression or it helps to lift it.
So if you're feeling low, please talk about it with someone you trust. Showing your feelings is a sign of strength. Likewise, if you suspect someone is feeling low, ask them and then be a good listener. You can suggest they seek professional help from their doctor or one of the mental health charities such as mind.org.uk or samaritans.org
Our gyms in Watford and Gravesend offer 24 hours/7 days a week access. Remember some of the world's greatest sports stars have spoken out about their depression and turned it around by doing so and with the help of exercise, including legends such as Serena Williams, Neil Lennon, Marcus Trescothick, Frank Bruno and Kelly Holmes.
Whether mild or more serious, exercise is a proven blues beater. If writing on social media about World Suicide Prevention Day use #WSPD with all your posts. Let's all help each other.