Mental health is a topic which still has a huge amount of stigma attached to it. In fact, the Time to Change campaign states that 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination.
The fact that this stigma still exists in a society in which 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem in any given year is shocking, disgraceful and so wrong!
If people (including me until recently) feel that they can’t be open about mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression then just imagine how difficult it must be to speak out if you’re feeling suicidal.
If you are worried about somebody else’s welfare then it is also extremely important to feel able to approach the subject of suicide. However, stigmas and myths surrounding suicide prevent people from talking and this costs so many lives every year.
In fact, the STOP Suicide campaign reports that every year close to twice as many people die as a result of suicide in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire than as a result of road accidents. Absolutely shocking and so are the rest of the statistics displayed below:
That is why I decided to become involved as a Campaign Maker in the STOP Suicide campaign which aims to:
- Prevent suicides.
- Promote public education and awareness.
- Provide support to people bereaved by suicide and promote healing and recovery.
- Promote the mental health and well being of all its citizens.
So this week I met with Dominika Karpowicz, who is the STOP Suicide Project Co-ordinator, to discuss how I could help support the campaign. It was great meeting somebody who is clearly very passionate about making a positive difference to peoples’ lives and it just affirmed my desire to get involved.
As a Campaign Maker, I am going to be dedicating time to raising awareness of the campaign through my blog and social media. I will also be circulating posters and leaflets in my local area and encouraging my employer to get involved in supporting the campaign.
There will also be several other possible opportunities to support the campaign which I am excited about exploring as they arise.
My first objective though is to get as many of you as possible to sign the Stop Suicide Personal Pledge which is outlined and linked below:
If you believe that people should feel able to have open and direct conversations about suicide and that they should feel able to seek help if they are struggling, then please sign the STOP Suicide Personal Pledge.
Your input is so important in raising awareness, ending stigma and showing people that they are not alone.
If you feel inspired to do more to get behind the campaign then do get in contact with Dominika or her colleagues here.
I’m really looking forward to making an impact as part of an award-winning campaign for such a great cause.
If you need urgent help with issues related to suicide then please use the contact details linked here.