In recent times, the world has been shocked by a number of celebrity suicides.
In June, the fashion world mourned the tragic death of handbag designer Kate Spade, who reportedly took her life in her New York home. Days later, news of the suicide of American TV chef, Anthony Bourdain, emerged.
Spade and Bourdain’s deaths proved that for many, no amount of success can deter depression and that it’s clear the issue with suicide is far from over.
The latest Samaritans figures showed female suicide rates are at their highest in a decade, while suicide is still the biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) say: “Suicide is complex. It usually occurs gradually, progressing from suicidal thoughts, to planning, to attempting suicide and finally dying by suicide.”
If you – or anyone you know – are suffering from depression or having suicidal thoughts, it’s important to talk to someone.
You don’t have to deal with these difficult feelings alone and there are an abundance of people waiting to help.
Here, we list some of the avenues you can take…
What is it? A helpline for everyone and anyone.
Call: 116 123
What is it? A helpline for people under 35
Call: 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text: 07786 209697
What is it? A helpline for men
Call: 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit: The webchat page
What is it? A helpline for children and young people under 19
Call: 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill
What is it? A helpline for older people
Call: 0800 4 70 80 90
Tips for coping right now
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are some useful steps you can take to cope with them in the present.
Just try to get through today rather than focusing on the future.
Talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust or an emotional helpline.
Contact a health professional such as your GP or Community Mental Health Team (CMHT).
Try to do activities you enjoy which take your mind off what you are thinking.
If you are in real danger of taking your own life call emergency services on 999 or go to Accident and Emergency (A&E).
What to do if you’re worried about someone else
If you’re worried about someone, the best thing you can do is get them to open up to you. A problem shared really is a problem halved.
Samaritans suggest the following:
Often people want to talk, but wait until someone asks how they are. Try asking open questions, like ‘What happened about…’, ‘Tell me about…’, ‘How do you feel about…’
Repeat back what they say to show you understand, and ask more questions.
Focus on your friend’s feelings instead of trying to solve the problem – it can be of more help and shows you care.
Respect what they tell you. Sometimes it’s easy to want to try and fix a person’s problems, or give them advice. Let them make their own decisions.
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