With an average of 7.8 deaths per 100,000 people, London has historically had the lowest suicide rate in England. However, the dense population of our capital means that if that statistic rings true, it equates to over 860 lives lost each year. And, for every suicide registered in the official statistics, there are many more Londoners who have unsuccessfully attempted to take their own life or who are thinking about doing so. Statistics on this are not readily available, but we do know that 860 lives cut short means there are at least 860 missed opportunities to intervene.
The World Health Organisation estimates that someone takes their own life, somewhere in the world, every 40 seconds.
This World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), we are joining in the global movement to help reach out to people who are struggling, with the message that #ItsOkayToTalk.
Too often people will suffer in silence, for fear of judgement or worse – being ignored. Driving out the stigma associated with both suicide and talking about mental health more generally, is a vital first step towards getting people the support they need.
Talking about mental health saves lives. Let’s continue the conversation.