After all, he’s just a man…

We are steadfast, we are unflinching, we are men…and we are dying

In control

It has been said that we live in a patriarchal society. We see ourselves as the masters of our own destiny.  We often unfairly, have better paid jobs and greater representation in both the business and political power houses that governs the UK in comparison to women. We are expected, on the whole, to be quicker in pace and stronger in arm. We are the providers, the protectors, the fixers, the guides, the shoulders to cry on – we are men, real men – but who are we kidding? Probably just ourselves.

Shifting sands

Because there’s a huge problem; it’s all a smokescreen, a sweeping stereotype, or at very best, a part truth. Because many of us are not coping very well at all. We are, after all, just men and our world has changed yet many of us haven’t moved with it. But why would we? Why should we? We know who we are.

We are steadfast. We are unflinching. We are men.

It’s a fact that we are all, to a large degree, the result of the way we were brought up and many of us, as men, are the result of a family upbringing that imbued the traditional concept of manliness and all the ‘strengths’ it espoused. Yet the world around us today finds increasingly little virtue in the traditional roles we have been taught to exhibit from the earliest days of our lives.

Square pegs, round holes

So into the world we have gone with our cemented identity and we are proud to be real men, and for a while, for many of us, all has been good. But as time has gone by and as employment avenues into traditional male job roles have become more and more scarce whilst opportunities for all across the board have become common place the gulf between the traditional man and the requirements of a rapidly evolving modern society have continued to widen. This is a reason why many men have fallen head-long through the gap.

Traditionally,

  • We identify ourselves by our work status but we no longer have work status.
  • We build our friendships through our job but we have no job.
  • We demonstrate our strength through our silence but then we are never heard and we dare not speak up as this would show our weaknesses.
  • We have lost our purpose or feel that we have somehow been duped.

So many of us cower in dark corners feeling that to step out would only be a step into an alien wilderness in which we cannot survive – a place where hopelessness reigns because we don’t feel able to turn to others because we are real men and real men don’t ask for help.

So how do we survive? Often badly.

We wear masks amongst our peers which serves to uphold and further reinforce the stereotype of being the real man we need people to believe we are. Or we adopt lifestyles that allow us to fleetingly dull the inner pain; we take to the bottle or the chemical and often both. But we are acutely aware that beneath this facade that threatens to crack at any moment our voices are silently screaming out to be heard, listened to, acted upon. But the silence of the real man ensures nothing is heard and the real man facade remains in check – maintained all the way through to the point that for some of us – we would rather die than admit “I need help.”

And when we take our own lives, it’s not selfish to us – we do this because we believe we are of no value. We believe we don’t belong. We honestly believe you would be better off without us. We believe that for everybody, including ourselves, we would be better off dead.

Change has got to come

So there needs to be a change, a major shift in understanding across society because being ‘real men’ in the traditional sense is killing us.

But, more importantly, the shift needs to start with us, as men. The first step for us is to recognise that –

There is no strength in silence. A real man reaches out.


Written by T Rigby; Director at Forward For Life (2015)

For more information on the work we do at Forward For Life >>> Get In Touch

Suicide Prevention Training Raises Money For Local Charity

Author: T Rigby, Forward For Life. Published 2015

Suicides devastate communities and supporting those bereaved by suicide is a mammoth task in its own right. 

With over 6000 people each year taking their own lives across communities in the UK, the impact on families, friends and wider communities is unfathomable because its a fact that for each and every suicide that occurs, at least 16 other people are directly effected by the loss. Because of the nature of suicide and the difficulty for those bereaved by suicide to  cope, organisations such as Cruse Bereavement Care Birmingham provide an invaluable level of support both individually and at a group level.

It is because of their unrelenting hard work and dedication to supporting people bereaved by suicide that all the delegate costs received for this ASIST course delivered on the 14th and 15th October was donated to Cruse Bereavement Birmingham.

If you have been recently bereaved by suicide, or know of someone who has please send them a link to the HELP IS AT HAND document. It is completely free guide that helps those bereaved by suicide understand what they are going through both emotionally and practically.


 

Are You O.K?

Originally published 2015 by Forward For Life

Chance encounter

Jamie Harrington, who featured on the photography project ‘Humans of Dublin’. He spoke of a chance encounter which led to him saving the life of a man in distress on a Dublin bridge.

Upon seeing the man, who was clearly distressed, Jamie simply asked him “Are You O.K?” These these three little words were the start of an encounter that saved a mans’ life.

Jamie and Terry

Photo: Jamie Harrington and Terry Rigby from Forward For Life at BBC Breakfast, August 7th 2015

Positive outcomes

The story went viral on social media. Jamie, a ‘Young Ambassador’ campaigning for Dublin to become the next European Capital of Culture in 2020, was repaid in a very special way. The man who had kept in contact with Jamie since their encounter on the bridge told him the news; that his girlfriend was having a child, and they were going to name the child after him.

Our small input

Terry Rigby, Founder and Company Director of Forward For Life Social Enterprise has worked in the field of mental health and suicide prevention since 1999.

Both Jamie (16 years old) and Terry (45 years young) visited BBC Breakfast on 7th August 2015 to talk about Jamies’ incredible story, suicide prevention and how to best support people whose lives were potentially at risk from suicide.

For information on help-lines and support go to our signposting page

Contact us

If you want more information about what we do at Forward For Life then email us at info@forwardforlife.org or call us on 07585776800.


BBC Presenters: Naga Munchetty & Christian Fraser

Just Whose Responsibility is Suicide Prevention?

Originally published 2015 by Forward For Life

“It is only through dialogue that we can face this issue of suicide intention head on in the hope that suicide prevention will one day be seen as everyone’s business.”

The impact of suicide

Suicide: Talking about it, challenging the stigma surrounding it and discussing what can be done about it is often seen by many as a bridge too far to cross.

Suicide devastates families, communities and even whole populations. But without talking about it, we can’t reduce the stigma. Without reducing the stigma we won’t reduce the numbers. It is only through dialogue that we can face this issue head on in the hope that suicide prevention will one day be seen as everyone’s business.

In 2013, a woman named Angela Rich took her own life whilst under the care of a Mental Health Trust. Her daughter, is a GP. She has tirelessly campaigned for better procedures within the NHS to prevent such tragedies occurring in the future.

Opportunities for change


Forward For Life were approached late July 2015 by Capital and Smooth Radio. We were asked to suggest what steps Mental Health services within the NHS could put in place to prevent suicides occurring in the future.

To Forward For Life, it is a reasonable to ask what can be improved in the NHS. But maybe as big a question to be asked is “Whose responsibility is suicide prevention?” 

The interview

Excerpts from this interview were broadcast on the 4th August 2015. Above you will be able to watch the podcast of the whole interview.


Get in touch


If you want to know more about the work we do to prevent suicide through supporting communities please email us info@forwardforlife.org or call us on 07585776800

The Very Public Affair of Suicide

Suicide is not a selfish act

RW

 

 

On the evening of the 11th August 2014, the world was shocked and stunned by the tragic news that Robin Williams had died. The initial suspicion of this being death by suicide was confirmed only the day after.

 

The world mourned and still does – Social Media across the world went into melt-down with images, condolences and outpourings of grief dominating our screens. The loss was further amplified through extensive radio broadcasts, television news bulletins and dedicated programmes with the rich and the famous lining up to give their testimonials of personal grief and personal stories; Even a hastily re-worked shelf stacking flurry of activity in a local video/audio store was undertaken (and I’m sure replicated elsewhere) where the whole back catalogue of Robins’ work was displayed in all its glory for potential customers to take note and hopefully purchase in the name of nostalgia. I was inundated with phone calls, text messages, twitter feeds, emails and face to face statements all sharing a common grief, a common sadness, a feeling of despair and absolute disbelief at what had occurred…the abbreviation of “O.M.G” has been abused to the point that it would need respite and plenty of “T.L.C” before it could be placed tentatively in the public domain once again though with a blatant public warning as to its current level of fragility since the loss of Robin.

 

 

But it can’t stop there. We have to categorise, we have to have a reason, a box to place this particular challenging instance within so we can comfortably give it meaning….give it a rationale. Indeed, for a person who appeared to have so much going for him – an “A List” Celebrity attributed such high regard across the world that his name was deemed synonymous with comedy across generations – the public thirst to know why and how such a tragedy could occur had to be realised and advertised widely. We needed to understand what could possibly lead such an iconic figure to consider and undertake death by suicide. Severe depression was given as the reason and this has all been a very public affair.

 

 

The painful toll that depression leaves in its wake after its persistent drag across society cannot be under-estimated. It destroys lives on so many different levels and is rife across the globe knowing no boundaries and respecting no particular group. But, just as rampant is the toll of suicide itself. Suicide, similarly, knows no boundaries and impacts across the world. Mental health, or more precisely, mental illness, has a huge part to play in the story of suicide but it is not all of the story. Many people who take their own lives are not known to mental health services, have received no such diagnosis. Now in part this could be a failing of society and the stigma that is attributed to mental health problems but it does not account for all suicides.

 

 

Suicide takes over a million lives per year globally. In the UK, that equates to 6000 suicides each year with 75% being by men – that’s 12 men and 4 women everyday in the UK. For suicidal behaviours – being a suicidal act that does not end in the death of the individual, it is estimated conservatively as being at least 100 times the number of suicides completed each year. This is what Forward For Life call The Biggest Elephant in the Room. Something that we can all see, and effects us all, yet we don’t talk about nor acknowledge it. But it appears that there is a caveat here; one where if a person who suicides is cherished by many, the world will listen, take note and grieve.

 

 

At Forward For Life it is our core goal to prevent suicide. An important aspect of that is challenging the stigma that perpetuates societies regarding suicide – a stigma that in effect is a catalyst for future suicides with an ever pervading undertone of damnation and shame being brought down on individuals, families and communities that experience suicide in their midst.

 

 

Media, in all its presentations in the past, both virtual and real, have played an ongoing role in maintaining this stigma – words like selfish, uncaring, thoughtless, pathetic, weak, useless, evil, possessed have been mercilessly attributed to individuals that have attempted or who have completed suicide. The only time I saw the word Selfish used in the context of Robin Williams death was a Guardian report that stated, that Suicide is Not A Selfish Act.

 

 

So what is this about? Is it that suicide is not a selfish act when they are known and loved in the public domain? I think not. This would be a ludicrous hypothesis to condone and besides, there are still a minority out there who continue to stigmatise regardless of the status of the person who died by suicide.

 

 

At what point do we consider the possibility of allocating the same grief, sadness and understanding to others who have been lost to suicide? At what point do we start to give support to those bereaved by suicide? At what point do we all take notice of the Elephant In The Room and start to talk about it….start to look how this is not a question of blame or judgment, but an issue that requires care, support and empathy?

 

 

At what point do we consider suicide and the prevention of it to be a priority that is everyone’s business?

 

Terry Rigby

Forward For Life

13th August 2014

Finding Life in Adversity

The loss of a loved one through suicide is one of the greatest adversities a person can endure.

The emotional aftermath has no defined longevity nor clear point of closure. The ability to handle this adversity and use it for the benefit of others should never be underestimated. Such people are unique and should be treasured, recognised as champions for life and recognised for their tenacious ability to live life to the full in spite of the adversity life has thrown in their way.

 

Nearly 10 years back, I lost a friend and mentor to suicide. It was a terrible loss, but one which, ironically, I found I could manage through my role as a strategic lead for Suicide Prevention in the Health Sector; I had an outlet…a duty…a defined function…a framework that I could hang my corporate hat and make a difference with.

 

In 2012, the corporate hat found a new but very similar framework to rest upon when I was handed the opportunity to set up my own forward thinking company; to make happen at a grassroots level what I always hoped for historically from a strategic standpoint and I have never looked back since with the core belief that one suicide is one too many, and there are opportunities across our communities to support people to realise that there are reasons for living.

Many people have said to me that I was brave to jump ship and set up Forward For Life – but I really don’t see this. For me it was the next natural step towards making a difference in an area that I had by chance fell into some 15 years back, an area that effects huge swathes across our communities yet was, and still is deemed by many, as an act that is rare and of little significant consequence.    

So what is brave to me in the world of suicide and suicide prevention?

It’s quite simple really – I was lucky. I had a framework, I had a knowledge base, I had connections…I had a “fallback” position. But for most this isn’t the case. Over the years I have worked in this field, It has never ceased to amaze me just how many people have not only been touched by suicide at such a personal level, but how many of those individuals have gone on to utilise this adversity in their life to make a difference for others…to wave the flag of life and all the amazing things life can still hold for us…to be there for people in their darkest most despairing moment…and just be.  These are truly brave people – these are our champions for life and the value of it should never be taken for granted but acknowledged for all that it is worth.

 

So who are these people?

There are so many but just as a starter here are a few…..

Hectors House – Hector took his own life on 20th April 2011.

His friends and family work tirelessly to prevent suicide after their loss. http://www.hectorshouse.org.uk/1.html

Rob_Stringer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stringer of Hectors House after completing his 10K run to raise money for the national suicide prevention charity CALM – 2014

 

Suicide Crisis – a voluntary organisation in Cheltenham set up by a woman touched by suicide and supported by volunteers that offers support to people in crisis – all on a voluntary basis  http://www.suicidecrisis.co.uk/

Suicide_Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide Crisis Volunteers in Cheltenham receiving the SOS Award from Forward For Life and Common Unity (2014)

 

Cadi Lambert https://cadi2014.wordpress.com/ who rode the Coast To Coast cycle route (August 2014) in memory of her partner Bob.

Cadi_Lambert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadi Lambert enjoying a break from the bike training!

 


Respect due

Terry Rigby

Company Director – Forward For Life


 

Early Follow Up Would Reduce Suicide

Originally published 2014: T Rigby

Researchers call for suicides soon after discharge to be ‘never events’ in NHS.

Mental health patients are at their highest risk of dying by suicide in the first two weeks after leaving hospital – a report out today (16/7/14) shows.

Around 3,225 patients died by suicide in the UK within the first three months of their discharge from hospital – 18% of all patient suicides, between 2002-2012.

The University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness found that 526 patients died within the first week, the peak time of risk in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland; it is the first two weeks in Wales.    

The Inquiry data, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England, the Health Department of the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, DHSSPS Northern Ireland and Jersey, was being presented to healthcare professionals and service users at a launch event in Manchester today. 

Professor Louis Appleby, Director of the National Confidential Inquiry, who led the study said:

Our latest data shows the first three months after discharge remain the time of highest risk but especially in the first 1-2 weeks. This increased risk has been linked to short admissions and to life events so our recommendations are that careful and effective care planning is needed including for patients before they are discharged and for those who self-discharge.

Early follow-up appointments should be strengthened and reducing the length of in-patient stay to ease pressure on beds should not be an aim in itself. Instead health professionals should ensure the adverse events that preceded the admission have been addressed.

The research team call for suicides within 3 days of hospital discharge and deaths and serious injuries caused by restraint to be NHS ‘never events’. 

There were 18,017 patient suicides between 2002 and 2012 in the UK, 28% of suicides in the general population during this time.    

Hanging remains a common method for suicide with an increase in this method.  In 2012, there were 2,994 suicides by hanging in the UK, 813 in mental health patients.   

Professor Nav Kapur, Head of Suicide Research at the National Confidential Inquiry, said:

The increase in hanging may be related to restrictions on the availability of other method and the misconception that hanging is a quick and painless way to die – but this is not the case and is also highly distressing for family members who discover the body.

 

 

Does our training do what it says on the Tin?

“I found the ASIST training really useful and it has made me for less worried about talking to someone wanting or thinking about ending their life.”

 

Says_on_the_tin

 

On-going research continues to best establish which suicide interventions are most effective. To date, we have the evidence to show that ASIST does give care-givers the skills and confidence to put an intervention in place. Recent evidence has also shown that for Crisis Workers on helplines, the ASIST approach is effective in saving lives. But we feel at Forward For Life and Common Unity that there is nothing more convincing than direct narratives from those on the ground who have been trained in ASIST.

 

So we asked the delegates who had been on our training whether it had been effectively employed in their day to day work – and this is what they said. 

 


Probation

 

“I used the ASIST training (2014) with one of my female offenders. She came for her usual appointment and was stating that she felt the world was coming in on her. She has a diagnosed Personality disorder but the Mental Health teams were not engaged with her. I completed the ASIST approach with her and although she had no plan in place we still looked at reasons to live and reasons to die. I drew a safe plan up with her and agreed with her that she would give me 24 hours. 

I referred to Mental Health teams for an assessment gave them all the information as to what i had done thus far for her and insisted that she be given an appointment as early as possible. They assessed and discharged but now have PD team involved and Forensic Mental health team. 
Most importantly my client, now feels that she can cope with the interventions I am putting in place with her and has another support network beyond her time with me.”  


 

Teacher

 

“I have been supporting a lovely 17 year old student during her restart year after suffering a breakdown in her first year. She was very up and down and felt she was very open with me and we had a good relationship. However a few weeks ago after stockpiling medication took an overdose, telling me later she hardly remembered taking them. She woke feeling dizzy and told her sister who called 999 and thankfully her life was saved. I was very shocked but so relieved when she came to see me, still low but happy to be still here.

 

My ASIST training (2014) with Terry and Caron from Forward For Life and Common Unity helped me to say the right things, to agree a safe plan to which she agreed and to signpost more help. She came to me as a friend and mentor and I thank god I had the ASIST training to help her.  She is now having much more help and bipolar disorder is suspected 


 

Counsellor

 

“I found the ASIST (2013) training really useful and it has made me for less worried about talking to someone wanting or thinking about ending their life. I have used the training in a telephone call in a previous job with someone who was suicidal and had the means and a plan of how they were going to end their life. Because of the training i didn’t panic but listened to the person for quite some time before identifying some things that he wanted to live for. I talked to them about these and arranged for them to see their GP. I got them to agree to see their GP and ensured that they were seeing a friend that evening, I also arranged to call them the following day to check in and see how they were. When i spoke to them the following day they were so grateful and said that if it hadn’t been for me listening to them and caring about what happened to them, they would have killed themselves the previous day.

 

I’ve also used the training in my role as a counsellor – I’ve used it on a couple of occasions with clients who had been having suicidal ideation although they weren’t actively planning to kill themselves. On both occasions the clients found it helpful to be able to talk through their feelings with someone who just wanted to listen.” 


 

Teacher

 

“I have had to put into practise ASIST on 2 occasions since completing our training in April 2014, and all I can say is that I felt prepared for both situations. Both situations were totally different, as one was for a member of staff and the latest situation was a Yr 11 student on the last week of term.

 

The member of staff was directed to me for support/off load, and with the guidance from our training I was able to ask the right questions which lead to a safe plan and contacting the member of staff’s partner, and making an appointment at their Dr’s.

 

With regards to the yr. 11 student, with whom I had worked in the past due to self harming. I could see a difference in attitude than previously, which gave me the push to ask if they were thinking of suicide and what appeared to be relief when I asked the question she told me “yes” and told me how she wanted to end her life. Again I don’t think I would have been so direct with my questioning if I had not attended ASIST. I have now in place, support whilst she is at school completing exams. Parents are on board too, contact numbers have been given to the student and parents and CAMHS aware and updated.

On the day of her telling me that she wished to end her life, we managed from not wanting to tell anyone, to agreeing a safe plan for the next 24hrs until we got everyone on board.”


 

Employment Consultant

 

“If I had not had the ASIST training (2014) with Forward For Life and Common Unity I would not have had the confidence to give support to two people.

 

As a result of the training I was able to sit for an hour and a half with a man who had tried to commit suicide to work through some of the processes he had undergone. When I arrived he was not able to sit up and was in coherent and in tears. By the end of the meeting he was able to sit up and talk rationally with me about the events leading up to the attempt.

 

In another case the training gave me the ability to talk with a lady who admitted to me that she had contemplated suicide having been sexually harassed. The training gave me the confidence to support her. I have been able to assist her to see that her feelings of worthlessness and guilt coming out of the harassment were understandable and that what had happened was not her fault and she should not listen to her negative thought about concentrate on the positive ones.”


 

Company Director (Health and Well Being)

 

“Representatives from our organisation undertook the ASIST training (2013) for our management and support workers and we have been able to put the training to use straight away and have supported young people.

 

One Saturday morning after an incident on the previous night, myself and a colleague were able to help this young person in crisis who confirmed to us that they had felt suicidal for a long time but no one had noticed before. Without the training received, suicide would have continued to be a subject that we as a team felt was taboo – but now have the confidence to ask questions and give support.”  


 

Commissioner

 

“Fortunately, I have not had to use the skills and approaches learnt during the 2 day ASIST course (2013) with Forward For Life and Common Unity.  However, attending the ASIST course has benefited me in other ways, such as helping people who are feeling low, going through bereavement, depressed, and generally feeling down.  

 

I highly recommend this both serious, and yet enjoyable course, as it helps in understanding a person’s deep-rooted misery, teaches essential techniques to stop a horrific tragedy, and enables wider awareness to further support, at risk and vulnerable individuals.  Delivered in an engaging and interactive way, the ASIST course clearly meets it aims.”   


 

Company Director – Training Consultancy

 

“I found the ASIST training engaging, the facilitators from Forward For Life and Common Unity were skilled in approaching such an emotive and sensitive subject with essence of humour and reality. I’ve become a supporter of their work and endorse their invaluable training.”

 


 

For further information on the ASIST training we provide go to > www.forwardforlife.org/our-training/the-asist-approach/
 

If you want to learn the skills that can someone’s life who is thinking about suicide. Then please get in touch with us.

e.     info@forwardforlife.org
m.     07585776800

Delivering Suicide Prevention in Hertfordshire

Author: Terry Rigby, Company Director – Published 2014

We made the right choice when we went with Forward For Life and Common Unity

We want to be the best we can be when we deliver our suicide prevention training and our evaluations to date have always been very positive. But these evaluations had always been based on training at a local level being in the West Midlands – but the Suicide Prevention training in Hertfordshire was a completely new experience – completely outside of our normal stomping ground. We had been given the opportunity to work alongside the Hertfordshire County Council Public Health Service and agree the delivery of both half-day safeTALK courses and the two day internationally renowned ASIST course across the County with the vision of supporting Hertfordshire to become suicide safer.

So, in March, Forward For Life and Common Unity delivered the safeTALK course to over 100 delegates in 3 venues over 3 days through 4 safeTALK courses. Prior to this experience, we were somewhat concerned that such an ask may be too much to take on with suicide prevention training being so demanding on facilitators and some delegates in respect of the subject matter and the time frame – in addition to this Hertfordshire was an area that we had not worked in at any level before.

Ours fears though, it seems, were unwarranted with direct positive feedback from safeTALK delegates on the day being further backed up with great evaluation feedback. Similarly the ASIST course held in April went extremely well with the added benefit that the ASIST delegates agreed amongst themselves to establish a network for Suicide Prevention for the County utilising the skills they had learned so support people with suicidal behaviour to find reasons for living.

As always, we provided a report overview at the end of the training – and with the permission of the Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council we have made available this report below.

Jim McManus, The Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council had this to say about the experience – 

” we made the right choice when we went with Forward For Life and Common Unity. They understood our needs and aims, worked with us flexibly on getting a diverse set of people trained and produced a first class, professional product. Feedback from participants has been excellent and we will definitely use them again.” 

Forward For Life and Common Unity want to thank Hertfordshire County Council Public Health Service for the opportunity to engage with so many inspiring front line health and social care professionals on the challenge of Suicide and the prevention of suicide – their dedication throughout this programme is a credit to Hertfordshire.

hertscover


If you wish to know more about our training and discuss how we could support you, please contact us

t. 07585776800

e.info@forwardforlife.org

Suicide Prevention Campaigns: Is the pint half empty?

pintAt Forward For Life, we are working hard to promote a suicide prevention campaign entitled #reasonsforliving – it’s a social media campaign that looks to support people in crisis to realise that there is hope and there are always reasons for living as well as giving communities the opportunity to talk about what is good in life for them, both individually and as part of a wider community. 

 

Over 6000 people die by suicide in the UK every year- that’s more than die in road accidents – so we want to get 6000 #reasonsforliving posted to succeed in this campaign as a way of highlighting that whatever challenges are thrown at us, life is worth living. We want to get this done between now (Mental Health Awareness Week) and September 10th – World Suicide Prevention Day – so time is of the essence. 

 

 

It’s all really simple to do and we hope its both engaging and has the potential to be effective in its aim – if you can hashtag then you can join in – you can just post up a photo, a few words, a song choice maybe or a song that you have put up on youtube, a poem even, something about your faith, your hobbies, your inspirations…whatever you lovely people fancy really…just ensure you give it the hashtag #reasonsforliving. 

 

So why are we doing this? Why are we talking about life and living when the issue at hand is suicide?

 

 

Forward For Life think it is fantastic that there are so many national and international campaigns each week being pushed out and promoted across a range of different media platforms to prevent suicide. But at the same time, we feel that in many cases, the approaches adopted overly emphasise the act of suicide and its devastating impact and place relatively little emphasis on life and living life to the full as a preventative approach to suicidal behaviour in its own right – and frankly, we think that too much emphasis on the act and not enough on prevention of the act (be it overt or as a result of positive community action) may risk the possibility of pushing people further away from engaging with the subject than ever before. We feel there needs to be a balance – and at the moment, the pint of life is definitely half-empty on this issue. 

 

 

Suicide devastates communities, we know this and it’s a terrible plague that appears to be endemic of todays’ fast paced, often self-absorbed and stress inducing society with each suicide affecting at least one in eight of us every year in the UK – But we also feel that many of the current approaches may be missing a trick –  for us the most effective way forward has to be a two-pronged approach – not only an approach that directly challenges the stigma and taboo of suicide that exists across our society as a whole and recognises the devastating effects of suicide on communities, but at the same time, an approach that further instills and builds on the level of resilience and sense of hope that communities can foster inwardly and outwardly – Historically communities have been powerful agents for maintaining the way things have always been, BUT let’s not forget they can also play a vital catalyst role in pushing forth change across society as a whole.

 

 

So ending on a positive note – Please help us make this pint half full – share, highlight, like, forward, hashtag, screenshot….whatever you do… give us a helping hand, a “top-up” (if you prefer) with this campaign. 

Terry rigby – Company Director at Forward For Life Limited.

 

More Information on #reasonsforliving >>