World Mental Health Day 2019 - Suicide Prevention

Thursday 10 October 2019 marks World Mental Health Day (WMHD). This day gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.

1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems this year and having a colleague in your corner can make all the difference. That’s why this World Mental Health Day our team of trained Ecovis Mental Health First Aid Champions are sharing some of their knowledge and resources with our employees to support our confidence in having conversations around mental health and build our understanding of mental health issues in and out of the workplace.

This year, WFMH has chosen ‘suicide prevention’ as the theme for the day. While suicide and self-harm are not mental health problems themselves, they are closely linked with mental distress. Although undoubtedly a difficult topic to talk about, the devastating reality is that the number of suicides is increasing both in the UK and worldwide.

  • In 2018 there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, up from 5,821 in 2017 (Office for National Statistics). In isolation, the raw figure may not seem too alarming, but when compared with the 1,782 deaths by road traffic accidents in the same year (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety), you can see how significant the issue is.
  • Of the number of deaths in 2018, more than three quarters (4,903 deaths) were among men and suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for men aged 20 to 49.
  • A 2017 NHS survey found that 1 in 5 people had experienced suicidal thoughts (NHS England).


Why can people feel like suicide is the only option?

There is obviously no one single reason why a person may choose to take their own life, indeed the reasons behind suicide are very complex. Often it is when many factors come together that people are at the greatest risk. Some factors which may indicate a person is at risk include;

  • Financial uncertainty
  • Unemployment
  • Traumatic life events (e.g. bereavement)
  • Loneliness
  • Homelessness
  • Discrimination
  • Long-term ill-health



What can society do to help?   There are a vast number of charities and support networks available to anyone who may be suffering from mental ill-health. Some of these are detailed below, but the message the WFMH want to convey today is regarding hope. People will turn to suicide when they are out of hope and feel it is the only option they have left. The WFMH are promoting the WAIT approach to suicide prevention to show how we can all help others in times of distress:


  •               Watch out for signed of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour
  •               Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”
  •               It will pass – assure people that the suicidal thoughts will pass
  •               Talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional



  • Samaritans answer over 5 million calls for help each year and operate a 24-7 support service: Call free on 116 123 or email
  • Papyrus is a dedicated service for people aged 35 and under who are worried about how they are feeling or have concerns about another young person: Call free on 0800 068 4141 or email
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (C.A.L.M.) is a male suicide prevention charity and the leading suicide prevention movement in the UK: Call free on 0800 58 58 58
  • NHS Choices provides 24-7 health advice: Call free on 111


Remember that the Ecovis Mental Health First Aid Champions are here to help. We can listen to you, discuss your concerns, and point you in the direction of additional support if needed.


Many thanks,


Your Ecovis Mental Health First Aid Champions