World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 - Take a minute, save a life

Ceremony in Mayor's Parlour marks opening of new premises for service supporting those bereaved by suicide

Red Lipstick - Suicide Prevention Day 2017

To mark Suicide Prevention Day (Sunday 10 September), we hosted an event in the Mayor’s Parlour to officially open the new offices of The Red Lipstick Foundation and promote this year’s theme of ‘Take a minute, save a life’.

The Red Lipstick Foundation is an independent charity that was founded in 2014. It offers services to families in Hampshire who have been bereaved by suicide or immediate family members following a person’s sudden death. 
  
Every day suicide claims the lives of 18 people in the UK. That’s one death by suicide every 2 hours. Data from the Coroner’s Office shows that there were a total of 60 deaths by suicide in Southampton during the calendar years 2013 – 2015. Alongside the huge personal and emotional impact, the economic cost of suicide has been estimated as being around £1.67 million per case.

Most people that die by suicide are not known to mental health services. When a person reaches a point where they are focused on taking their life, they’re often in distress and can’t find alternative ways through their problems at that point. This period usually only lasts a short while and often it doesn’t take a huge amount to bring someone back from that decision – something as simple as saying, ‘it's ok to talk’ can be enough to move someone out of suicidal crisis. The person that can make this difference could be any one of us: a friend, a family member or even just a passer-by in the street.

Cllr Paul Lewzey, Mental Health Champion at Southampton City Council, said:

“Our attitudes to mental health have changed for the better in recent years but there is still work to be done in getting people to talk more openly about mental health. Most people that die by suicide aren’t known to mental health services so ‘Take a minute, save a life’ is an important message. The person that makes the difference in turning someone who has lost hope away from making the decision to take their own life could be any one of us.”

We’ve produced a short one minute video to outline the ‘Take a minute, save a life’ message for Suicide Prevention Day, working in partnership with the University of Southampton. Volunteer actors from the Mental Health nursing post-graduate course took part in the filming.

James Wilson, Lecturer in Mental Health at the University of Southampton, who helped to produce the video and provides the voiceover said:

“Take a minute, save a life is a simple but powerful idea. It’s easy as we go about our busy lives to lose sight of what’s important and to not pay attention to how others around us are feeling. Taking the time when you notice that someone is in in distress to simply ask the question ‘Are you ok?’ and then really listening can make the vital difference for someone in crisis. We hope that by promoting this message we also help those that are having suicidal thoughts feel empowered to talk about mental health and to seek help and support.” 

You can watch the short video which encapsulates the 'Take a minute, save a life' message on Facebook.

Whatever you're going through, call Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123. They are available round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it's best to call on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don't have to be suicidal to call.