The number of suicides in England and Wales has hit a 15-year high, according to the latest figures.
identifiedA total of 5,199 people took their own lives in 2015 – a rise year on year over the last five.
The number of men killing themselves is also three times higher than women, although the figure has dropped slightly since 2014.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day.
This year there is an emphasis on the high number of men who take their own life.
Nick, who doesn’t want to be named, was on the verge of killing himself when he rang a charity for help.
He describes feeling “feeble, weak and pathetic”, saying “not existing felt like the best option.”
He was saved by contact with Suicide Crisis which runs a centre in Gloucestershire.
“They used the words ‘we want you live’, ‘you deserve to live’ and those are the words I suppose you want to hear.”
“I remember feeling frightened, stupid, selfish because I didn’t want to be here anymore.
“I had sons I had a grandson and in your right mind you would never leave these people. I wasn’t in my right mind.”
Charities say mental health provision dedicated to those at risk of suicide is not adequate.
Joy Hibbins, who set up a walk-in Suicide Crisis centre in Gloucestershire, wants to see more similar centres all over the country.
“We’re the only crisis centre of this type where we provide not just a centre for people to come but we also do home visits to people. We’ve been contacted by individuals from all over the country saying ‘we need a Suicide Crisis centre here’.
“It’s not just in one town but it’s happening in every city, in every town. People are saying this is really what we need.”
The emphasis for World Suicide Prevention Day, however, is on the need to talk, especially for men.
Jen Offord, whose brother Stephen ended his life 12 years ago, says the subject however is still taboo.
“It’s very hard to talk about. On the one hand it’s very personal, how do you have that conversation with a complete stranger?
“You don’t want to have that chat and ruin someone else’s day. It’s very hard to talk about and society isn’t really set up to have that conversation.”
Luke Ambler’s partner’s brother ended his life just four months ago. He, too, is joining the the global drive to encourage people at risk to talk to someone.
“The big thing that comes out of suicide is how much people are loved. Facebook and twitter and social media accounts become a memorial of love and how much help there is out there, and that people are willing to listen.”
The push from charities and mental health organisations comes after an online campaign of the same name, ‘It’s OK to Talk’, reached millions of people around the world in August.
TV stars, comedians, and sports personalities shared pictures of themselves making an OK sign with their hands.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the number of children who have called Childline about suicidal thoughts has doubled in the past five years.
The charity cited abuse, school pressures, turbulent home lives and mental health issues as the main contributors.
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can also call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK.
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