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World Suicide Prevention Day - 10th September

More than 700,000 people worldwide die by suicide each year!

Every year organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide.

The latest suicide statistics show that in 2018, in the UK and Republic of Ireland, more than 6,800 people died by suicide. It is estimated that for each suicide around 135 people suffer from the after effects of each suicide, This adds up to 918,000 people per year that are effected by suicide.

At Designs in Mind we work in partnership with The Samaritans. Our Listen and Connect team are trained by them and receive regular support from them.

We use an empathic approach to help people explore their problems and where it is possible support them to connect with appropriate external agencies such as U&I counselling and The Green Oak Foundation.

Links to these services if you need them are below.

You can join us in helping to prevent suicide. Some tips for how you can listen are below.

Listening Techniques

  • Make eye contact. Note that in some cultures, excessive eye contact can be seen as inappropriate, aggressive, or rude. Be intent, but don’t stare.

  • Focus on what is being said. Do not do other activities at the same time such as monitor for e-mails, answer the telephone, etc.

  • Listen and allow the person to speak. Do not interrupt. You may want to “fix” things, but if you have not heard the entire situation, you may be fixing the wrong issue.

  • Allow pauses. Some people may need time to think about and formulate their answers. Do not pressure someone to answer quickly.

  • Ask questions. If something is not clear, asking for more detail about it in a friendly and non-judgemental way shows interest and concern.

  • Repeat for confirmation. When you repeat what you heard, you reduce the chance of misconceptions and confusion. Give the other person a chance to correct any misunderstanding of what you think you heard.

  • Reflect on what you heard.

  • Listen between the lines. Look for clues in body language that may reveal how the person is feeling about whatever you are talking about (posture, facial expressions, eye contact, etc.)

If you would like to learn more about how to talk to someone that may have suicidal thoughts then I highly recommend this short 20 minute free course from the Zero Suicide Alliance.

Posted by Maddy Moore, Good Egg Team and Member

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