United Kingdom: The NHS scheme to reduce stigma about suicide

May 29, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Guardian

Inspired by the Perfect Depression Care program at the Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services in Detroit, the British National Health Service (NHS) is funding several suicide prevention projects that encourage people to talk openly about suicide. According to Aly Anderson, director of development at the mental health nonprofit Mind in Cambridgeshire, “Seventy-five per cent of people who kill themselves are not in touch with mental health services, so the people in the best position to intervene are often their family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.” So in addition to working with primary care providers, Anderson’s team is engaging people in local communities to raise awareness about the warning signs of suicide and how to talk in a direct way with a person who may be suicidal. They are trying to dispel the common myths about suicide and emphasize that suicide is preventable. They encourage people to listen to someone who may be suicidal and keep him or her safe until professional help can be obtained. “We all have the capacity to save a life in that way,” said Anderson.