World Suicide Prevention Day: The help available in east London

It's World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. ELFT is calling on friends and family to speak to

It's World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. ELFT is calling on friends and family to speak to a loved one if they're worried about them. Picture: NHS. - Credit: NHS

East London’s mental health trust is asking people to have a conversation about mental illness this World Suicide Prevention Day today, Tuesday, September 10.

More than 5,000 people took their own lives in the UK in 2018, a third of them women.

Suicide remains the biggest killer of men under 45 in the country, with an average of 84 men taking their own lives every week.

For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of killing themselves.

For World Suicide Prevention Day, the East London Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and community care to Tower Hamlets and Newham, is encouraging residents to get to know what support is out there.

It said anyone can experience suicidal thoughts at any time in their life. They can be triggered by an overwhelming change in circumstances, but more often than not, it is a small thing that acts as a trigger.

It's now asking residents to have a conversation with someone if they're worried about them. Research suggests that talking honestly and openly about suicide helps save lives.

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The Samaritans offers tips to people looking for help talking to a loved one. Their advice includes choosing the right time and place, where both people can concentrate and don't have to be somewhere else, and asking open-ended questions.

In Newham, there is a dedicated, 24-hour crisis line that people experiencing a mental health crisis can call.

It can be reached on 020 7540 6782, with a goal of getting the care residents need in the least time and the fewest hoops.

ELFT is also offering free suicide awareness training in Tower Hamlets in partnership with the Tower Hamlets Community Education Provider Network.

The course teaches students how to identify someone experiencing suicidal thoughts and how to help.

Its goal is to create a suicide-free community. Anyone in the north-east London can attend the course from any area of employment.

Development on self-help is also a priority. ELFT runs the Service User Network to aid residents who experience emotional and psychological distress, frequent mood changes, emotional instability, self-harm or have thoughts of suicide.

SUN is designed to be help people create strategies to prevent future crises.