Content warning: this audio and article contain discussions about suicide and mental illness
National Suicide Prevention Week (10-16 September 2023) aims to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention, with this year’s theme focusing on creating hope through action.
In this audio, nursing colleagues and friends Liz and Shelley talk openly about having suicidal thoughts and how they navigated getting the help they needed.
They also touch on why nursing staff might be at greater risk of suicide, and what to do if a colleague of yours is struggling.
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During the conversation, Shelley shares a helpful acronym, ALGEE, which is a step-by-step action plan to use when providing support to someone who may be distressed.
- Approach – assess for risk of suicide or harm.
- Listen non-judgementally.
- Give reassurance and information.
- Encourage appropriate professional help.
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies.
If you're going through a tough time or having thoughts of suicide, it's important you tell someone. Call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org. Please try to stay safe until you can speak to someone about how you feel.
You can also find out about the RCN’s free counselling service which offers confidential support to help you deal with challenging emotional issues.
The RCN has endorsed a 20-minute suicide awareness training video from the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) to support you in gaining skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide.
The Department of Health and Social Care has also funded guidance for health professionals by the ZSA on issues of consent, confidentiality and sharing of information to support suicide prevention.