19 September | Minds@Work LIVE - Let's Talk about Suicide

Every two hours, someone in the UK dies by suicide and about 1 in 5 adults over the age of 16 say that they have had suicidal thoughts.

But is 1 in 5 a reliable statistic? Shame stops people from talking about their mental health struggles, so it’s probably safe to assume that more of us have had suicidal thoughts and not told anyone.

Those who can’t speak about their feelings and get timely help are most at risk of dying by suicide. Recent stats show that two-thirds of people who die by suicide in the UK have not been in contact with mental health services in the year before they died.

Sometimes there are signs that family, friends and colleagues can see. What if your friend or colleague said “Life isn’t worth living”, or “I want to give up”…how would you support them? Would you recognise the signs that someone is not okay?

Talking saves lives. Geoff McDonald, co-founder of Minds@Work says that he wouldn’t be alive today if he couldn’t talk openly about his illness. Hear his story in the 2 minute video below.

Geoff’s conclusion that “stigma killed my friend” set Minds@Work on a course to eradicate stigma through the sharing of stories and this is core to what we do today. Suicide is topic that’s usually discussed in hushed tones and we are going to turn up the volume.

“Let’s Talk about Suicide” is a free event hosted by Schroders in London Wall on 19 September at 6:30pm.

The audience will hear brave and generous men and women speak from the heart about their own suicidal ideation. The Samaritans, who support someone in crisis every 6 seconds, will teach us ways we can help our friends at risk. Geoff McDonald will be in conversation with those who have lost family, friends and colleagues as well as those that have recovered and now live a happy life they once thought impossible.

April Doty