Did you know that September was suicide prevention month? I didn’t and this post is a huge deviation from my planned schedule but when I realised that it was suicide prevention month I knew that I needed to get something written.
I’ve made no secret of my battles with depression and anxiety, I pride myself on talking about my mental illness because it’s through talking that we can harness the power to change the world. Suicide is no different and while it’s definitely a sensitive and hard subject to talk about, it’s one that is hugely important and essential for changing the way we view it.
For most people (myself included) suicide is a far off and hard to understand tragedy and despite that many of us will have been affected by suicide in some way. It might be that someone we know has taken their own life or perhaps you have had these type of feelings and the statistics clearly back up this sentiment.
Currently in the United Kingdom suicide is the third leading killer of people aged 10-24, a static that is shocking, emotive and incredibly sad. Yet 90% of the people that have chosen to take their life (I hate the phrase “committed suicide”) had some underlying mental illness, making it less surprising and often preventable.
That said however, it’s important to stress that is never anyone’s fault and while we tend to look for people to blame, suicide is a blameless subject. When I say prevented I mean we can really prevent suicides, as a country, as a NHS and as a humanity. We need to educate people from an early ages about the services that are available to them and the steps they can take to help cope with mental illness should they be one of the huge numbers that are effected by it!
So I wanted to dedicate my post to Matthew Percy,a fellow Young Labour member who sadly died earlier in the year.
Remember that you are never alone.