September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, raising awareness of 800,000+ suicides every year globally – one person every 40 seconds. This year, the theme for World Suicide Prevention day is 'Take a minute, change a life.'
At Healthwatch, over the last two years, 34,000 people have shared their stories with us of using mental health services, but only a small proportion have been about getting support at a time when someone has self-harmed or felt suicidal.
Research has shown that self-harm or suicide can be a response to any situation or pressure, including school and work, bullying, financial worries, abuse, and long-term mental health – it affects all walks of life.
For many people with mental health challenges, accessing the right support can be difficult.
When you take a minute to share your story with us, you help improve support for everyone by letting services hear what's worked and what could be better.
Why we want your views
Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence state that treatment should be tailored to individual needs – but one of the key problems we hear is that some people are struggling to access the right services for them.
We don’t have enough information about people’s experiences of support when they are self-harming or feeling suicidal and whether or not services are doing everything possible to support them.
What have people told us
People have told us that:
- They can feel they are not listened to or taken seriously by health care professionals.
- Their needs are not addressed fully or are referred to a service that doesn’t suit their needs.
- They don’t meet the criteria for a particular service; either because their needs are too severe or not severe enough.
- Poor experiences of how services are delivered and coordinated can leave them
falling between services.
Some people told us that they had been refused services as they “cannot help anymore” or their situation is “too serious for them”.
Conversely others who had accessed support services before were not willing to engage with them again as they found them ineffective previously.
Help us help others
You can help make mental health and care services better by sharing your experiences.
If you, or someone you know, have sought help when feeling suicidal or self-harming, you can share your experiences by talking to your local Healthwatch.
In an emergency?
If you have seriously harmed yourself or think you might, please call 999 or go straight to A&E. Your life matters.
Call a free helpline now
Need someone to talk to right now? These FREE, impartial helplines can help.
Samaritans – for everyone
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Childline – for children and young people under 19
0800 1111 – the number won't show up on your phone bill
The Silver Line – for older people
0800 4 70 80 90