HSE Marks World Suicide Prevention Day

Creating Hope through Action

Tomorrow, Saturday 10th September, the HSE will mark World Suicide Prevention Day. The international theme for 2022 is ‘Creating Hope through Action’. In Ireland, this is an important theme that is reflected in the HSE’s national strategy to reduce suicide Connecting for Life, and in our work across suicide prevention and mental health services.

Even though suicide is a very complex issue, we can always look out for others who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts and provide support. This helps to create a more caring society where, those who need to, feel more comfortable in seeking help.

The message of ‘creating hope’ on World Suicide Prevention Day is one that aims to resonate with people who have been impacted by suicide, and people who work in suicide prevention, alike.

Barbara Brennan, See Change Programmes Leader (Ireland’s organisation dedicated to ending mental health stigma) and Mental Health Ambassador said: “If you have ever struggled with anything in your life, and found a supportive ear, you will know the difference a single conversation can have. At some of the lowest points in my life, a kind gesture made all the difference and helped me find the will to try again. World Suicide Prevention Day is about recognising the struggle of others, and opening conversations about mental health and suicide, so we break down barriers that prevent people from seeking help.”

Josephine Rigney, HSE Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, said: “We can all contribute to creating more caring, supportive and hopeful communities. Across the national network of HSE Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention, we prioritise suicide prevention work and initiatives in so many different settings. Through the network, we provide free and readily accessible suicide prevention and awareness programmes – attending these gives anyone the opportunity to take action, increase their suicide prevention skills, and be the shining light of hope for others in their own communities.”

The following actions can help us all to ‘create hope’ this World Suicide Prevention Day:

1.     Reach in - Reach in to someone you know who might be having difficulties. Find a comfortable space and time to sit and be present with them. Use open questions and tell them you care about them.

2.     Increase your awareness - If someone tells you that they are having thoughts of suicide, try to stay calm and don’t be afraid. Free suicide prevention and awareness programmes are available from the HSE to help you build your confidence and skills in this space (see www.nosp.ie/training).

3.     Reach out - If you are feeling particularly low, sad or hopeless, always remember that sharing things with someone else will help. Reaching out to talk with someone – someone close or even a support organisation – will help.

4.     Be the Light - Connect with a support or community organisation. Volunteer, help spread their messages and become involved in activities that promote positive mental health and wellbeing or suicide prevention in your community.

5.     Know where to turn - Get to know what mental health supports and services are available, and tell more people about them. Speak with a GP about what might be available locally. Tell your family, your friends, your colleagues – you never know when someone might need them.

Read more about these messages, and download links, ribbons and social media images from the HSE - https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/mental-health-services/connecting-for-life/news/world-suicide-prevention-day-2022.html.

Marking World Suicide Prevention Day, Minister Mary Butler TD, Minister of State in Department of Health with responsibility for Mental Health and Older People said: “World Suicide Prevention Day provides us with the opportunity to spread the message of hope to anyone who may be impacted by suicide or suicidal thoughts. Suicide is extremely complex and most of the time, there is no single event or factor that leads someone to take their own life. But every death by suicide is tragic and is an immense loss for individuals, families, friends, and communities. Suicide prevention remains a key priority for me and the Government as a whole. We will continue to support our colleagues in the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention and their partners to ensure they have the resources available to continue their valuable work in the area of suicide prevention.”

John Meehan, Head of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) said: “This World Suicide Prevention Day, we are reminded of all the lives lost to suicide in Ireland, and remember families and communities who have been left behind. The HSE NOSP works to realise the vision of an Ireland where fewer lives are lost to suicide and we are indebted to the tireless efforts of individuals, communities and agencies who have prioritised suicide prevention and mental health promotion in their lives and work. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and we are proud of working in partnership with Government agencies, health services and people who are bereaved, to focus on creating suicide-safer communities across Ireland.”

Support is available:

  • on the phone - Samaritans, visit www.samaritans.ie or Freephone 116 123, anytime day or night
  • by text message - Text50808, text HELLO to 50808, anytime day or night
  • online – MyMind - visit www.mymind.org for online counselling options
  • face-to-face - Pieta, visit www.pieta.ie or Freephone 1800 247 247, anytime day or night

You can also call the HSE YourMentalHealth Information Line, anytime day or night, for information on mental health, and what other services and supports are available near you – Freephone 1800 111 888 or visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie.

Last updated on: 09 / 09 / 2022