World Suicide Prevention Day | The Psychology Company
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World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is an annual event that takes place on September 10th. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of suicide and to promote suicide prevention efforts.

Many clients who come to therapy experience suicidal ideation, where thoughts of suicide come into their mind. For some these thoughts are very passive and it may be more of an urge for stressors to stop, to have time to pause and to get off the rollercoaster for a while. For others it may be that thoughts of taking their life come into their mind in a more active way but thankfully many people never act on these thoughts. If those thoughts however start turning into urges and plans then it’s important to get professional help with someone trained and experienced in helping people manage their risk of suicide. 

We know there are several risk factors associated with completing suicide including;

  1. Mental health conditions such as severe depression and anxiety
  2.  substance abuse.
  3. History of suicide attempt.4
  4. Family history of suicide.
  5. Exposure to trauma or abuse.
  6. Current life stressors such as job loss, financial problems, or relationship problems.
  7. Access to lethal means such as firearms or pills.
  8. Hopelessness about the future.
  9. Feeling trapped or like they have no way out of their situation.
  10. Increased impulsivity.
  11. Decreased social support.


It is important to note that not everyone who has one or more of these risk factors will attempt or die by suicide. However, the presence of these risk factors should be taken seriously and should prompt a conversation with a healthcare professional about suicide prevention. Psychological therapy, with someone experienced in working with clients at risk of suicide can be a helpful way of working on some of these risk factors but also can help build a life that feels worth living. 

Preventing suicide is not only vital for those who sadly are at risk of taking their life but also for all the people that are impacted by the loss of a loved one to suicide. The number of people who are affected by a suicide can vary greatly, but it is estimated that each suicide affects an average of 135 people.These 135 people includes the immediate family and friends of the person who died, as well as their co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. The death of someone close to us is always a difficult experience, but it can be especially traumatic when the loss is sudden or violent. If we were particularly close to this person or it was a family member the ripples of their suicide can last a lifetime.

Suicide bereavement is a type of traumatic bereavement. Traumatic bereavement can be accompanied by a range of symptoms, including:

  • Intense grief and sadness
  • Difficulty accepting the death
  • Recurrent thoughts and images of the death
  • Nightmares or flashbacks
  • Feeling numb or detached
  • Avoidance of reminders of the death
  • Anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Here is a link to the Cruise Bereavement Care web page on traumatic loss; If you have been impacted by traumatic bereavement then trauma focused therapy such as EMDR or Trauma Focused CBT can be particularly helpful. 

Whether you yourself are feeling suicidal, you are supporting a loved one who is suicidal or you have lost someone close to you through suicide we want you to know that help is available to you including the following;

  • Suicide Prevention UK which is an award winning Suicide Prevention charity:
  • Samaritans. To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email [email protected] or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).
  • Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you’re under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (24 hours, 7 days a week), email [email protected] or text 07786 209 697.
  • Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) is a self-help organisation which exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. SoBS have an online community that offers peer-to-peer support for survivors of bereavement by suicide. 
  • Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP) is the UK’s national hub for organisations and individuals working across the UK to support people who have been bereaved or affected by suicide.