This year, World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 will be observed on 10 September 2019. It is a day to reflect on the role we each have to play in moving towards a more open and supportive society – one that empowers people to seek practical and life-saving support at the earliest opportunity.
In the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day 2019, the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) launched its “40 seconds of action” campaign, named after the alarming statistic that, worldwide, every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. Closer to home, the statistics are just as stark. According to the latest ONS report on suicide, 6,507 lives were lost to suicide in the UK in 2018. This represents the first increase in suicide rates in this country since 2013.
The following are considered by the WHO as strong risk factors for suicide:
- experience of loss;
- a relationship break-up;
- financial problems;
- violence and abuse.
As a specialist family law solicitor, I recognise all of the risk factors for suicide listed above as reasons for and consequences of relationship breakdown. In my work I see first-hand the devastating impact that a relationship breakdown can have on a person’s mental health and well-being.
Some people have the resilience to cope with the pressures and strains of divorce or separation in the knowledge that it will someday reach its conclusion. For others, this is not enough. This is why acknowledging that people inevitably react and cope differently to the same events and being prepared to reach out to them – even simply to ask if they are OK – can help not only to navigate somebody through an enormously stressful time, but also to save lives.
It is established that men are less likely to speak about and seek practical support for their mental health than women. This certainly accords with my own experiences acting for men and women alike. In the UK, three quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2018 were male, and suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45.
This year, Rayden Solicitors have chosen CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) as its charity of the year. Partner Julian Bremner has also worked with eminent psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Tarun Pamneja to create a bespoke clinical programme, The Man Mind Journey Planner. It has been specifically designed to help men deal with relationship breakdown and the strains of the legal aspects of it.
If you need support or somebody to talk to, the following organisations are here to help:
- Samaritans: 116 123 (free 24/7)
- CALM: 0800 585858 (free, specifically aimed at men, 5pm-midnight)
- PAPYRUS: 0800 968 4141 (free, specifically aimed at young people, 9am-10pm Mon-Fri, 2pm-10pm at the weekend)
- England/Scotland: 111
- Wales: 0845 4647
The Hub of Hope website can help you find support near you: Hub of Hope
Your GP should also assist you in getting the support and help you need.
If you or somebody else poses an immediate danger to themselves or others, please call 999.
Rayden Solicitors are a specialist family law firm with offices in St Albans, Berkhamsted and Beaconsfield. If you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists on 01727 734260.
In memory of Esko – kaipaamme sinua