Guest post by Alys Cole-King, Clinical Director of Connecting with People which aims to progress work on implementing research findings in clinical practice.
“I pledge to start a conversation about preventing suicide in my organisation”
Objective: to breakdown the stigma of suicide in healthcare (and beyond)
The stigma of suicide is still a major barrier to people seeking and providing support in the NHS. Tackling stigma saves lives. Suicidal thoughts are far more common than people realise but we just don’t talk about them. Stigma makes it embarrassing or frightening to tell another person, but this is absolutely critical to getting help.
Dr Alys Cole-King, on behalf of Connecting with People says ‘Suicidal thoughts usually start because people feel overwhelmed by their problems or their situation. This can happen to absolutely anyone. People can find it hard to see a way out. It is not that they necessarily want their life to end: it is just that they cannot cope with their emotional or physical pain any more. We want to tackle stigma so people can feel free to access the support knowing that the person they approach will listen and not judge’.
Doctors and nurses are at an increased risk of suicide and the Australian Beyond Blue study last year showed that one-in-five medical students and one-in-ten doctors had suicidal thoughts in the past year, compared with one in 45 people in the wider community.
Suicide is preventable and the first step is to start a conversation about it.
- Watch “Breaking down the stigma of suicide” 3m film
- Start conversations that lead to dissemination of Royal College of Psychiatrists self-help leaflets
- Access or signpost suicide prevention training
- Access and share ‘Staying Safe’ resource
- Contribute to a suicide prevention strategy
- Signpost self-help resources to people in distress
- Incorporate suicide prevention into mainstream processes and meetings
- Watch 22m U Can Cope film
- Join #WeDocs TweetChat hosted by @AlysColeKing on 11th March 20.00-21.00 GMT