Listen for the silence of suicide – World Suicide Prevention Day

Listen for the silence of suicide – World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is suicide prevention day which is a good way to raise awareness because there is a silence to suicide.

People that feel suicidal or deeply depressed often stay silent about how they are feeling

Each year, over 800,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. Every single one of the people in these statistics have felt that life is no longer worth living. But many of these people won’t have told anyone how they are feeling. Most people will have family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours but when they spoke to these people they didn’t tell them how unbearable they were finding their lives.

I wonder why it is that people suffering emotionally so deeply feel they can’t share their feelings with anyone. There may be a number of reasons:

  • They may be embarrassed to tell someone
  • They may feel guilty for feeling this way
  • They might not want to burden someone else with their problems
  • They might think how they are feeling will go away on its own

 

Could you save a life?

The theme of the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Take a minute, change a life.’ This means noticing is someone around you is struggling and checking in with them. You don’t have to have all the answers for them, just let them know you are there and you care. Offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgemental way can make all the difference.

There is no need for silence about suicide. The more open we are in society and communities about it, the more help it will be. .

People who have lived through a suicide attempt have much to teach us about how the words and actions of others are important. They often talk movingly about reaching the point where they could see no alternative but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes leading up to this. They often describe realising that they did not want to die but instead wanted someone to intervene and stop them. Many say that they actively sought someone who would sense their despair and ask them whether they were okay.

The International Association For Suicide Prevention Society have spoken to suicide survivors who said if someone had asked if they were okay, they had decided to talk to them and accept their support. Sadly, they often reflect that no one asked.

Can you imagine saving someone’s life. Just by asking if they are ok? I mean REALLY ok?

You don’t need to be an expert of any kind to help someone. You just need to listen. Often that first opening up to someone is therapeutic to the person feeling suicidal will seek help or be open to seeking help after they have opened up. Its like they are a pressure cooker and they’ve let a bit of the steam out.

The smallest bit of compassion and empathy can be all someone delicate needs to feel that life is worth living.

Suicide affects more than just one life

Obviously it is extremely sad that anyone commits suicide but the pain they leave for those around them can live on forever.  A suicide is shocking for all involved. Even if you don’t know someone very well, it can still be shocking and painful.

People left behind often spend years with very raw and painful emotions.

What makes people feel suicidal?

It is often an event like divorce or redundancy that can really bring someone down. Or stress or depression just becomes unbearable.  It is so important to look after your mental health and seek support if you feel you need it. Seeking help can make a tremendous difference to how you feel.

The stats around suicide

  • Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, account for 1.4% of all deaths and
  • The global suicide rate is 11.4 per 100 000 population
  • More males 15 in 100,000 are affected than females 8 in 100,000
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 in many European countries
  • Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide
  • 50% of individuals in high income countries who die by suicide have major depressive disorder at their time of death
  • For every 1 suicide 25 people make a suicide attempt
  • 60 people are affected by each suicide death. This equates to 48 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year

This World Suicide Prevention Day and everyday take a minute to reach out to someone – this can change a life

There are numerous relevant resources on the websites of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (https://www.iasp.info/resources) and the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int).

Light a candle

You might choose to Light a Candle near a Window at 8 PM to support World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 to show your support for suicide prevention,  to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.

The Samaritans are an excellent source of support if you need to talk to someone. Their number is 116 123. You do not need to suffer in silence.

Finally, if there is anyone you are concerned about, take a minute to check in with them. It could change their life.

Sending you healing and compassionate vibes.

Honey

Do employers care about your mental health?

Do employers care about your mental health?

Your mental health – How much do you honestly think your employer cares about it?

Do you feel that they care more about business results than the mental health of the people they manage?

I was motivated to think about this question and write this post as a result of another blog post I saw. A woman that sent an email to her boss to say she needed to take a mental health sick day got a really cool response. You can read about it here

What do you think your boss would say if you sent an email saying you were having a mental health sick day? Would they respond kindly or would they respond asking for an update on your work! In many cases bosses lack empathy towards employees.

Is mental health in your workplace taken as seriously as physical health?

It might be slightly different of course with an obvious physical illness. You know the sort of thing, leg in cast, swollen eye, streaming cold or sporting injury. Or even an operation where you are actually in hospital and completely unable to work ,so the boss can be satisfied you are no good to them whatsoever for a while.

Most people have sympathy towards physical illness don’t they? ‘Awwww, that looks sore’ or ‘you poor thing, hope you are feeling better soon’. But is there the same level of sympathy towards mental health or is there still a bit of a stigma? Many people are not keen to openly talk about depression although mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis and 4-10% of people in England experiencing depression in their lifetime.

Is there still a mental health stigma?

Hard day at the office

Why is there any stigma or lack of support for mental health issues in the workplace? Luckily, high profile people like Price Harry are really helping matters by talking about it. He has openly said how the death of his mother, Princess Diana affected his mental health and wellbeing.

 

You might not think there is a stigma as you may be lucky to be in a workplace that is supportive of mental health issues like Laing O’Rourke. But there clearly is a huge problem 49% of people saying they would be unlikely to tell their boss about problems such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Only 35% said they’d be happy to tell colleagues.

They say people leave companies because of bad bosses….

Some workplaces are almost archaic in their support of mental health issues. Managers that are so wrapped up in their own careers and living and breathing ‘work’ that they forget the people that work for them are PEOPLE. It makes a real difference when your manager bothers to get to know you as a person. Asks after your family, makes you feel like a human.

And when you have a mental health issue and you manager is supportive, wow! That can really make or break your happiness at work. Maybe they support you be making changes to your hours, or your workload or support appointments for you to get professional help.

Or maybe they simply respect that not every day you are able to put in your most amazing performance or effort.  It doesn’t make you a less committed or able employee. Businesses are obsessed with number of hours worked when actually you can be just as efficient and if not more in less hours if you are happy and supported.

It’s time for employers to wake up and smell the bachs remedy

Mental Health in the UK

It is so shortsighted for employers not to consider the mental health of it’s employees part of its strategy and company ethos.

In business speak, the costs of not doing so are massive with mixed anxiety and depression estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain.

 

Things that don’t help mental health at work are:

  • Unsupportive company ethos
  • Bullying
  • Systems and processes that cause stress
  • Regular overworking
  • Lack of ‘Wellbeing at work’ initiatives
  • Lack of support from managers and HR
  • Lack of appropriate training
  • Unrealistic targets and timescales

The things on this list cause stress and anxiety in abundance. Both of which can lead to depression and absence from work.

Some companies are wellbeing aware

Time to change

Luckily 500 smart companies have signed up for the Time to Change Pledge to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination across England.

 

 

In a really great guide from Mentalhealth.org.uk they explain that good mental health practices have to start with managers. They advise looking out for these things in employees:

  • Irritable
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Loss of confidence or humour
  • Making more mistakes
  • Indecisive
  • Lack of concentration
  • Not taking breaks
  • Becoming introverted or extroverted
  • Displaying stress
  • Looking tired
  • Lack of motivation

 

Prevention will pay dividends

There is also a great deal that can be done at prevention level which starts with having an open approach to mental health. Talking about it in the company and being supportive of people working their contracted hours and not regularly expecting more. Have realistic job descriptions and treat people like people.

Of course people want to do a good job and be successful, it’s good for self-esteem and motivation. But they also want lives and energy to enjoy themselves!

Some companies cottoned onto the benefits of having a workforce who nurture their mental health a while ago. Some of the best are mentioned here

If you know a company that are good at caring about the mental health of their employees, please give them a shout out in the comments of this blog. They deserve it 🙂

There is a very simple sum too which sums up why employers should care about mental health.

Happy staff = staff that want to make customers happy = happy business = attracts high quality employees that want to work there = happy business etc

In short, caring about your brain is a no brainer 🙂

A quick word for the self employed

As you are your own boss, you are responsible for your own mental health. Self employed people can be so enthusiastic about their businesses that they let their self-care slip. Don’t let this be you! If you are in business you will know that you need to play both the short game and the long game and this applies to your physical and mental health too.

Schedule days off and holidays. Make sure your customers and clients know your working hours so your ‘free time’ does not become ‘work time’.

So many people leave Corporate life to enjoy the benefits of being self employed and actually ending working harder and longer. Nothing wrong with passion for your business, but if you burn out you won’t be able to do very much at all.

You have personal responsilbity for your own mental health too

Of course, work is not the only cause of mental health issues. Problems can arise after a life changing event, illness or for no reason at all unfortunately. There is loads you can do to take care of your own wellbeing and keep mental health issues at bay. Then you can enjoy your work and the rest of your life to the best of your ability.

Sign up for the free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge

I’ve seen enough ‘frazzled’ clients to understand that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mental health.

You might want to sign up for my free 21 Day Wellbeing Challenge which is an easy to follow plan for busy people. Just sign up via the pop up here on my website.

30 days to a happier you – Day 14 – 12 ways to be happier

30 days to a happier you – Day 14 – 12 ways to be happier

2 weeks

Whoo hoo.

So far you have 12 ways to be happier. You have completed 2 weeks of your journey to a happier you. How are you feeling?

Week 2

Here’s a reminder of what you’ve been up to over the past week in your mission to be a happier you. This is a free 30 day programme and if you do all the exercises you will different.

Day 8 You looked at your negative mind chatter and met your Mind COP

Day 9 Mind COP came to your rescue and helped you catch those negative thoughts, own them and protect yourself

Day 10 I gave you a huge list of things to do for free to add to your happiness and no doubt you came up with lots of your own

Day 11 You thought about your USPS and made a list of your special and unique qualities

Day 12 You recognized your strengths and how playing to them will make you more you and compare yourself to others less

Day 13 I shared a list of people that inspire me and why and you had a think about who inspires you and why

Week 1

And just in case you are just joining us, here are all week one’s posts so you won’t miss a thing!

Day 1 – you gave yourself a current happiness score out of 10 to see how happy you currently are.

Day 2 – you started to catch negative mind chatter going on in your head and made a note of it in your notebook.

Day 3 – you tried to make friends with your mind.

Day 4 – you became a mind COP by realising how much time you spend thinking negatively. You are now  focused on catching those negative thoughts as they come in, owning the thought and protect yourself by realising it might not be true.

Day 5 – you did the shake N vac and  started to freshen your mind with gratitude.

Day 6 – you wrote a really good gratitude list that means something to you.

It is never too late to start again. Each day is a brand new beginning.

Every day

If you haven’t done all the exercises, or you have just found this blog series, no problem! It is never too late to start. Each day is a brand new beginning.

Just go back on the blogs and pick up from there. You just need  a notebook and pen, to read my blogs each day and dedicate a small amount of time each day to do the exercises. This is not meant to be another thing on your ‘to do list’. It is raising your awareness to things that affect your happiness and helping you train your brain to be happier.

You are not alone

If you are finding this difficult to do on your own, no problem, because I can help you. I work with adults and children age 5+ in person in West Sussex or on Skype round the world! My clients have significiant insights and shifts. You might want help with  anxiety, depression, stress, confidence and sleep. Most clients say they wish they had come sooner.

Here’s the plan:

  • Refresh yourself on anything you’ve missed
  • Come back tomorrow
  • Get in touch if you need help. I offer a free 20 minute consultation

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

If you fancy blogging and a bit of a challenge, there is no better place to be than Sarah Arrow’s blogging challenge

30 days to a happier you – Day 8 – You have the power of arrest

30 days to a happier you – Day 8 – You have the power of arrest

mind powerYour mind power is the most powerful thing you own.

In fact so powerful, you even have two! The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind helps you operate in the ‘now’ and makes rationale decisions. The subconscious operates at a deeper level and looks to protect us in all we do. You can read more about your two minds here

You’ve got more rabbit than Sainsburys!

On Day 2 we started to look at mind chatter. Many of my clients spend more than 50% of their day thinking negatively or hearing negative mind chatter. If you watched sad films for that amount of time, they would probably lower your mood. But the good news is, if you spent the same amount of time watching positive films this would no doubt lift your mood.

Now this isn’t saying you shouldn’t watch sad films or feel negative emotions because we are human beings. We need to feel the whole range of emotions to have a complete human experience. This is about being aware that when a negative thought comes into our mind, it may not be the truth and maybe we shouldn’t spend time dwelling on it or believing it if it makes us feel bad.

Negative thoughts are like criminals in your mind

Say you lost your job. This is a serious life affecting event and can have a huge effect on people. Now say you spent much of your time thinking about:

  • ‘I should have worked harder’
  • ‘Why didn’t I take that course so I would be better’
  • ‘I’m no good’
  • ‘I’m unpopular’
  • ‘Why me’
  • ‘I’m not clever’
  • ‘I’ll never get another job’

These thoughts are like criminals in your mind.

You might spend a few hours a day thinking about these things. These thoughts may run concurrently in your mind and feel like a cloud around your head, stifling you. When your friends and family are talking to you, you might not be listening to what they are saying because you are so wrapped up in what you are thinking. You can’t really read or watch TV properly because you are thinking about the ‘bad stuff’. It starts affecting your sleep. You lose enthusiasm for things you used to enjoy. All because of these thoughts. These thoughts are affecting your enjoyment of life, your relationships and opportunities. You might find it harder to get another job because your self-esteem is low and everything becomes much more difficult.

You need mind COP ne naw ne naw

Mind COP is a good COP. He (or she!) is there, patrolling in your head, looking out for negative thoughts and helping you to; Catch them. Own them. Protect yourself.

Tomorrow I will be showing you mind how COP will protect you against those criminal negative thoughts in your mind. And yes, you really do have the power of arrest (in real life, it’s a citizens arrest ). We will look at how mind COP will help you make arrests and bang the baddies to rights.

Now all this talk about mind COP and criminal negative thoughts is using our imagination. This is the beauty of the mind. It’s imaginative (which is a problem when it creates negative thoughts, phobias and anxiety) but wonderful when it creates excitement, possibility and power.

So let’s imagine mind COP now…. close your eyes (but read this first!). Can you see mind COP? What can you see? Does mind COP have a voice? A uniform? A face? How big is mind COP? How will mind COP help you?

You create your own thoughts you see. With your amazing, powerful, imaginative mind.

Here’s the plan:

  • Keep noting your mind chatter in your notebook
  • Read your gratitude list often
  • Come back tomorrow and I will show you Mind COP in action catching those criminals and keeping your mind safe

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Day 7 – 1 week complete

30 days to a happier you – Day 7 – 1 week complete

week-one-doneCongratulations

You’ve completed your first week of 30 days to a happier you. I wonder what you’ve noticed about your thoughts and the feelings they generate? And maybe you feel that you have a lot more control over your happiness than you think…..

 

 

 

 

 

You are the owner of your happiness

Here’s a reminder of what you’ve been up to over the past week in your mission to be a happier you.

Day 1 – you gave yourself a current happiness score out of 10 to see how happy you currently are.

Day 2 – you started to catch negative mind chatter going on in your head and made a note of it in your notebook.

Day 3 – you tried to make friends with your mind.

Day 4 – you became a mind COP by realising how much time you spend thinking negatively. You are now  focused on catching those negative thoughts as they come in, owning the thought and protect yourself by realising it might not be true.

Day 5 – you did the shake N vac and  started to freshen your mind with gratitude.

Day 6 – you wrote a really good gratitude list that means something to you.

Wow, what a great start! Well done you 🙂

Why wait any longer to be a happier you?

don;t postpone happiness

If you haven’t done all the exercises, or you have just found this blog series, no problem! It is never too late to start.

Just go back on the blogs and pick up from there. You just need  a notebook and pen, to read my blogs each day and dedicate a small amount of time each day to do the exercises. This is not meant to be another thing on your ‘to do list’. It is raising your awareness to things that affect your happiness and helping you train your brain to be happier.

 

 

You are not alone

If you are finding this difficult to do on your own, no problem, because I can help you. I offer 4 session packages in person in West Sussex or on Skype round the world! In 4 sessions people have significiant insights and shifts. If you  have an electrical problem, you call an electrician. You probably don’t service your own car. And I doubt you do your own dental check up or eye test!

So if you need help with your mind or issues that you can’t solve alone, seek the help of a professional. Your mental health is a critical part of your wellbeing. 1 in 3 adults will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives and there is lots of help available.

Here’s the plan:

  • Refresh yourself on anything you’ve missed
  • Come back tomorrow

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

If you fancy blogging and a bit of a challenge, there is no better place to be than Sarah Arrow’s blogging challenge

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