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World Suicide Prevention Day - it’s okay to talk 

10 September 2019

This World Suicide Prevention Day we are encouraging all students and staff to ‘take a minute’ in line with the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s #YouCanTalk campaign.

Taking a minute encourages everyone to strike up a conversation if they notice a change within their peers and to have healthy and open conversations about their mental health and wellbeing.

Every single one of us has mental health, just as we all have physical health. It is normal to have low moments or periods when you do not feel well, but when this begins to impact your day-to-day life then it is time to reach out for support.

Approximately one in four people in the UK will suffer from a mental health illness within their lifetime and three quarters of all suicides worldwide are men. It is imperative that we continue to challenge the stigma around mental health and gender.

Spot the signs for those who may be feeling suicidal:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, rage or uncontrolled anger
  • The desire to seek revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped like there’s no way out
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and society
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • An inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic mood changes

Remember that these signs are not comprehensive, and people display their emotions in different ways. Never been afraid to check in with a friend, colleague, or family member. Discussing suicide does not make it more likely that someone will have or act upon suicidal thoughts.

When you study with us at college, we offer all students a comprehensive package of professional mental health and physical support.

This includes counselling services, a college nurse (Oxfordshire only) and health and wellbeing advice from our dedicated Student Support team.

You can get confidential support for the following:

  • Relationship issues
  • Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Work or study problems
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Other issues, including disabilities and eating disorders

As well as your peers and the professional services we offer, we also have connections with charities including Mind,Samaritans and local crisis teams in emergency situations.

We work alongside the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in Oxford, the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in Berkshire and the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

Remember, if you have a concern about someone, take a minute to talk and ask if they are okay. Just having a person to speak to can seriously benefit a person’s mental health and wellbeing and can give them the confidence they need to seek the professional support needed to thrive once more.

If you are worried about yourself or someone else then please call the Student Support team on 01865 550401, the Samaritans on 116 123, or in an emergency call 999.