A message of hope on World Suicide Prevention Day

Release Date: 10 September 2012

Source: Mental Health Foundation

Country: United Kingdom

The Mental Health Foundation has collaborated in the production of a major new film, which you can watch above, to raise awareness and provide help and support on World Suicide Prevention Day. The coalition of over 100 UK organisations is led by Connecting With People, Samaritans and the Royal College of Psychiatrists and includes everyone from mental health bodies to the Professional Cricketers’ Association. The film aims to spread the message that it is possible to overcome suicidal thoughts and feelings and that there are many resources available to help those who are struggling to cope.

The film entitled “U Can Cope” is launched today – World Suicide Prevention Day –featuring a number of very strong, emotional and honest testimonials by men and women who, for very different reasons, had found themselves thinking suicide was the only option. They all sought help, however, and came to realise they were not alone, that it was a huge relief to talk to someone about their problems and that they could find new reasons for living.

The narrator is the Irish-born singer and actress, Linda Nolan (one of the famous Nolan Sisters), who says Samaritans helped to save her life when both her husband and mother died while she herself was suffering from breast cancer.  

The film has been funded by a number of leading charities working to reduce suicide, alongside professional bodies, primary care and training organisations. It includes expert commentaries from Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Dr Alys Cole-King and Professor Stephen Platt, a Samaritans’ Trustee and eminent academic in the field of suicide prevention.

It promotes three main messages:

• Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts,
• There is always hope,
• There is always help.

Dr Alys Cole-King: “Suicidal thoughts start because people feel overwhelmed by their problems or their situation and find it hard to ‘see a way out’. It’s not that they necessarily want their life to end, it’s just that they cannot cope with their emotional or physical pain any more.”

“The underlying reasons are different for each person. Sometimes it may be due to a mental illness or triggered by things like the loss of a relationship, the loss of support, physical illness, financial worries, appearing in court or the death of a loved one.  All these are types of event that any of us can (and do) experience during our lives. However, no matter how desperate you feel, if you know where to get help and how to get help, you can get through the crisis.” Dr Alys Cole-King & Prof. Stephen Platt.

The message of the “U Can Cope” film is backed up by three new resources which offer contacts, guidance and practical help to people in distress in the form of leaflets and on-line via the Connecting with People and Royal College of Psychiatrists’ websites. They are called:

• “Feeling On The Edge? Helping you get through it”;
• “Feeling Overwhelmed? Helping you stay safe”;
• “U Can Cope”.  

The film is due to be shown at the joint launch event for the Call to Action for Suicide Prevention in England and the Government’s Suicide Prevention Strategy, on World Suicide Prevention Day.