Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2019

Samaritans say: “Every year organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. 

In 2017, in the UK and Ireland alone, over 6,000 people died of suicide. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. 

And we know that suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable.” 

Suicide rates for men and women

In the UK, men are three times as likely to die by suicide than women. In the Republic of Ireland, the rate is four times higher among men than women.

Suicide rates by age and gender

In the UK, the highest suicide rate is among men aged 45-49. In the Republic of Ireland, the highest rate is among men aged 55-65.

UK: rising suicide rates in middle-aged men

Men aged 45-49 still have the highest rate of suicides. The suicide rate increased for this group in 2018.

Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 for free.

Hampshire Libraries Booklist

Man Up, Man Down – Standing Up to Suicide by Paul McGregor

When Paul McGregor’s dad tried to take his own life, it changed Paul’s worldview forever. Of course he hadn’t seen it coming, and so all his old certainties dissolved and he struggled to cope. Paul’s dad eventually recovered in hospital and went home, and it seemed as though things could now finally start to improve. But then a few weeks later, tragedy struck. Paul’s dad made a second attempt on his life, walking in front of a lorry. He died instantly. In order to distract himself from his grief, Paul began to overwork himself and chase ‘success’. He found himself in a dark place, suffering from depression and fearing that he’d follow in his dad’s footsteps. How could he, as a man, show his vulnerability? ‘Man Up, Man Down’ is Paul’s tale of recovery. It also explores what it means to be a man in today’s society.

The Stranger on the Bridge: My Journey From Suicide Despair to Hope by Jonny Benjamin

In 2008, 20 year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him – a decision that saved Jonny’s life. Fast forward to 2014 and Jonny, together with Rethink Mental Illness launch a campaign with a short video clip so that Jonny could finally thank that stranger who put him on the path to recovery. More than 319 million people around the world followed the search. ITV’s breakfast shows picked up the story until the stranger, whose name is Neil Laybourn, was found and – in an emotional and touching moment – the pair reunited and have remained firm friends ever since. ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally, and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life, but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder

On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from. Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light. I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us.

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, this is more than a memoir: it is a book about making the most of your time on Earth.

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