Every year more than 700,000 people across the world take their own life. It’s a tragedy that can affect anyone and leaves a long-lasting impact on those left behind.
Suicide is a serious public health issue and one that can be prevented with timely interventions. Here at UCLan we want to encourage you to take stock of your mental health now, reflect on what’s going on for you and if you feel you need support then don’t hesitate a moment longer. Get in touch with our wellbeing team via:
World Suicide Prevention Day is an annual event that raises awareness, tackles stigma and encourages those who are struggling to link in with professional organisations for support.
We know that people aren’t at risk of suicide for just one day a year, in fact every 40 seconds we lose someone else to suicide. At UCLan we want to keep the conversation about suicide going everyday and give those who are struggling the confidence to ask for help.
"How are you?"
What are the chances you are going to say ‘I’m fine thanks’ despite the fact that you have been feeling low for days, overwhelmed with work or family life or perhaps even contemplated leaving it all behind. It’s a well-known fact that we aren’t in to being honest about how we feel and so at UCLan we’d like to put an end to this. Let's get talking….and listening.
We have compiled a list of resources, videos and links to help you understand that you are not on your own and that help is out there.
What can I do to help myself?
A safety plan is a list of prioritised coping strategies and support that is in your own words and will help you navigate suicidal feelings and urges. This can be done with a mental health professional or by yourself. If you have ever experienced suicidal thoughts before then this should absolutely be in your own personal toolkit.
If you need an example to help you get off the mark check out this: Safety Plan
If you are a parent or carer worried about your child, or, just need something a bit more visual check out this: Child Friendly Safety Plan
Talk to someone:
The saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. It may not be immediate but it will certainly get you to a place where you can access the right support. It's important to talk to someone you trust; that could be a family member, friend, lecturer, colleague or a member of our wellbeing team.
- Available 24/7 if you need someone to talk to.
Help in Preston
– A huge bank of mental health and wellbeing organisations listed for you to look through and contact.
Create a self-help box:
This is a useful self-help strategy that can support people when anxiety kicks in, when they are experiencing intrusive thoughts or just feeling a little low. The key element is that it’s personal to you and is a useful way to manage your emotions on days that aren’t so good.
Create a support network:
If you have ever been lucky enough to feel like you belong somewhere, whether it's at school, within your family, friends, a community group or an online network, you will know that it has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. Coming to university can often mean that your usual ‘place of belonging’ just isn’t as accessible anymore. We really want to encourage you to engage with some new things and explore options that will give you new places to belong.
Don’t compare your experience to the image of university that you might see on social media or TV shows. A sense of belonging is about the quality of friendships not quantity. Remember: Someone else’s Instagram feed of their time at university might not be their reality.
Here’s a list of networking options including some brilliantly fun things to get involved with at the SU. There will likely be something that’s just right for you and if its not there now, you can create it with the help of the SU staff. You’re probably not the only one interested in it!
Just a few ideas are:
Within the Community:
Visit Preston Groups
– From live action roleplaying to a model railway society there’s something for everyone.
– A list of groups for those on other campuses.
There’s an app for that:
Have a look at these sites which focus specifically on helpful apps.
is an app reviewing organisation that rates apps on their accessibility and helpfulness. Just type in your topic of interest and find the right app for you:
What Can I Do For Others?
#asktwice isn’t just for those who are struggling but for those who are wanting to help.
Often the line we hear most commonly from those left behind is ‘if I’d have only known’. Sometimes the signs aren’t that easy to spot. Here’s a bit of helpful advice and guidance if you are worried about someone or you just want to equip yourself with some helpful resources.
If it were only that simple!! Check out this powerful video: Spot the Signs
‘MAN, I Need To Talk!!’
You may be shocked to find out that the latest national data survey revealed that 75% of suicide deaths were male.
From a very early age men have grown up hearing messages flippantly thrown around like: ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘man up’. These messages leave a lasting impression that it's ok for women to feel things but if you’re a real bloke… then absolutely not!!
At UCLan we want to challenge these messages and we are encouraging you to stand alongside us and do it too. Just because you are male doesn’t mean you don’t feel. Acknowledge your own thoughts and feelings, they matter… YOU matter!
We have lots of resources available for you to help yourself, but, sometimes sharing it with another person can have the most impact. Pick someone you trust or if you’d rather talk to a professional then contact the wellbeing team here at UCLan.
Let's encourage one another to share those scary thoughts and feelings. This year’s theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘creating hope through action’. As men our collective action should be to talk about our mental health more. Mental health can be a lucky dip and so in support of those suffering yesterday or yourself who might be suffering tomorrow, let's talk about it today.
Here are some links for any men out there who are struggling or wanting to arm themselves with a mental health toolkit or network:
Toxic Masculinity – What is it and how can I address it? Learn more about it here