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Speak up for World Suicide Prevention Day

A relative of a suicide victim from Leicestershire is challenging the stigma of suicide by urging people to speak up and seek help about mental health.

Hand illustrating stop suicide pledge

Lucy (42), who lost her father to suicide last year will be sharing her experiences of bereavement as one of the key note speakers at a conference to mark 'World Suicide Prevention Day' on Tuesday 10 September. 

Aimed at Leicestershire's healthcare professionals and wider partners, the conference which is being held at the King Power Stadium is a joint venture by Leicestershire County Council with close support from the city council, district councils, Leicestershire Police, NHS partners, the Samaritans and Turning Point. 

Lucy said: "One of the most difficult aspects of living with suicide is that the only person who could give you an answer to ‘Why?’ is no longer with you.

"My Dad was a very kind man, hugely talented and highly intelligent. He was very active within his community, loved his grandchildren, had no financial concerns. 

"In short, had I been asked to give a list of people I might be concerned about, he wouldn't have been on it."

With an average of 76 suicides a year in Leicestershire, Lucy believes that silence is part of the problem and says by sharing our experiences we can remove the taboo that still persists around mental ill-health to check in with people we are concerned about. 

She said: "Asking someone if they are feeling suicidal will not cause them to harm themselves, in fact they are much more likely to feel relieved and draw back from the brink. We as a family learned that if this could happen to us, it can happen to anyone."

The effects of suicide spread far and wide with family, friends and whole communities impacted. Every story is heart-breaking and we must do what we can to break the silence.  

Our support for World Suicide Prevention Day is a part of the council’s ongoing commitment to working with our partners to reducing the rates and providing better support for those bereaved by suicide. If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them and ask them how they are doing. It could save a life. 

Cllr Lee Breckon, cabinet member for health and wellbeing

If you need to talk to someone the Samaritans can be contacted by calling 116 123, or visit www.startaconversation.co.uk for more information.

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