A 40 second read for World Mental Health Day

10th October 2019

The World Health Organisation report that every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide. 800,000 people die by suicide every year and for every 1 suicide there are more than 20 attempts.(1)

The 10th October 2019 is World Mental Health Day and this year the theme is ’40 seconds of action’ to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world. To support this, the team from HealthFirst are taking the opportunity to highlight some key points about suicide as part of our ‘40 seconds of action’ for the day.

In addition to the shocking statistics above, we want to get the message out that:

  • Suicide also impacts families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies.
  • Suicide is preventable and requires action from individuals, the community, and at national levels to reduce the burden.
  • Suicide is a global public health problem.

Have you ever had a family member, friend or colleague that you have been concerned about, have thought could perhaps be suicidal but have not known how to address this or ask them how they are?

If you know how to approach someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts carefully and sensitively, offer them a non-judgmental ear and communicate with them openly, it allows them the opportunity to talk about their problems and also shows them that someone cares. In addition, it puts you in the right position to be able to give the person support, information and direct them towards appropriate professional help. Through one simple, genuine conversation, you could potentially save someone’s life and start them on their journey to recovery.

As a partner of the Swiss-based foundation Pro Mente Sana, HealthFirst has launched a new course: ensa Mental Health First Aid.

So here is our ‘40 second’ challenge to you. Come and learn more about mental health and about how to ask those difficult questions. Book yourself onto a MHFA course now:

1. WHO September 2019:

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