Suicide. It’s still a taboo subject. So many people are scared to talk about it. And even when they do they’re not sure what language to use. In 2017 there were 6213 deaths by suicide in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The highest rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49. The suicide rate for men has decreased and is the lowest it’s been for 30 years, however female suicide rates have remained the same for the last 10 years.
All these statistics are shocking. That is 6213 deaths by suicide too many. So what can be done to change that number? I’m no expert but I feel we need to keep pushing forward with getting people to open up. Talking helps. It’s undeniable. The problem we have though is making sure there are enough people to listen. It all comes down to money as it so often does in mental health care. We need to have more money to fund more resources so people have a place to go to talk, where they can get expert support. Charities do an amazing job at plugging some of the gaps but it seems not to be enough. The politicians need to start looking at these statistics more seriously. To stop what really are preventable deaths.
Another thing I want to see change is the separation of male and female suicide. Yes, I understand more men are dying by suicide but clearly something is wrong when the male suicide rate is decreasing yet the female rate remains consistent. Every death by suicide is one too many regardless of gender. We need to tackle all suicide, male or female. Sometimes it feels like females who die by suicide are forgotten and this should not be the case at all. One life lost is enough.
So why am I writing all this? Why do I care? Because it could of been me. I could of been a statistic. I’ve tried to end my life five times. I still struggle with suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. Behind each of those statistics are people. People with a story. People with loved ones who miss them daily. People who have been let down. It’s not just a number. It’s about lives lost. And it doesn’t even begin to quantify the number of lives effected by those losses. Things need to change.
If you are feeling suicidal please reach out. It’s tough and probably a really difficult conversation but it will be one of the most important ones of your life. You deserve help and love. You are worthy no matter what your mind is telling you. And people do care. I care. I’m not going to promise it will be easy but it will be worthwhile.
For more information on suicidal feelings check out the Mind website here. For support you can contact the Samaritans here. For suicide warning signs check out my blog post here. And if your feeling suicidal please read this.