Mental health platform Unmind has teamed up with Jonny Benjamin MBE to release the #TalkingAboutSuicide series to educate and inform users on how to talk responsibly about suicide prevention
The new series release coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day (Monday, September 10), which serves as a worldwide commitment to raise awareness and action.
This new programme is designed to take users through seven days of content, featuring comments from Jonny reflecting on his personal experience, having attempted to complete suicide in London in 2008. Fortunately, Jonny was talked out of completing suicide by a passer-by, Neil Laybourn. The pair have since worked together extensively on mental health projects after being reunited six years after their first encounter.
Speaking about the launch of the series, Jonny said: “I’m really excited about the new project with Unmind. We don’t focus enough on the subject of suicide, despite the tragic figures associated with it, so I’m really pleased that Unmind have decided to concentrate on this challenging area.
“Unmind are making a great impact within mental health so I’m delighted to be working with them. The new figures released this week from the ONS are positive in the sense that the suicide rate is falling in the U.K.”
Jonny acknowledged there is still work to do, revealing that an average of 16 people every day took their own lives last year.
“The impact this has on family and friends is incomprehensible. There is so much we can and must do to reduce suicide, particularly within men, where it still remains something of a taboo, albeit one that is finally starting to be broken.”
Last week our Head of Psychology, Dr Heather Bolton spent some time in the studio with @MrJonnyBenjamin recording audio sessions for #unmind's upcoming Series. We're #TalkingAboutSuicide and trying to encourage more open conversations around #mentalhealth pic.twitter.com/OOCMea0eou— Unmind (@unmindhq) August 21, 2018
Unmind, which creates clincially-backed tools sessions to help employees and businesses proactively improve their mental wellbeing, is hopeful the #TalkingAboutSuicide series can break the stigma surrounding suicide.
A spokesperson said: “Suicide is the cause of an alarming number of deaths in the modern world, and any suicide attempt, whether or not it results in death, can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on families, communities and workplaces.
“We know that talking about suicide is the single biggest way to prevent it, yet it is not a subject that many people feel able to discuss, due to the stigma and discomfort associated with it.
The Talking About Suicide Series aims to break down the stigma around suicide and help users overcome any barriers to talking. On completing the series, users will have a clearer understanding of suicide and feel more confident in having open conversations with others who might be at risk.
"Suicide is preventable and talking about it can save lives - we hope that this Series will empower people to do just that.”
Male suicide figures in the UK remain in focus, with figures revealed earlier this month showing that men are still three times more likely than women to take their own lives (as has been the case since the mid 1990’s). A recent ONS report highlighted the number of males completing suicide in 2017 is at its lowest since records began in 1981.
For more information on Talking About Suicide, visit Unmind.
If you are struggling to cope, call Samaritans free on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch. Support is available around the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.
If you are not in crisis but you or someone you may know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, counselling may help.
Picture credit Stuart Emmerson