World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day, observed on 10 September every year, is a platform to raise awareness of suicide, bring people together to share hope and to promote preventative measures to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts globally.

The theme for 2023 is Creating Hope Through Action because there is help out there.

The theme serves as a call to action and a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide.

We know that suicide is a major public health problem with far-reaching social, emotional and economic consequences. It is estimated that there are currently more than 700,000 suicides per year worldwide, and we know that each suicide profoundly affects many more people.

We know that members of the Armed Forces Community do face struggles, given the type of service some will have given. But, there is help specifically designed for the Armed Forces Community. 

The NHS has developed Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, which provides specialist care and support for the Armed Forces Community, including those due to leave the Armed Forces, Reservists and those who’ve already left.

It can help anyone from the Armed Forces Community who might be experiencing mental health problems or suicidal thoughts.

Importantly it is staffed by people who:

  • understand the Armed Forces and military life
  • are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with Serving personnel, Reservists, Veterans and their families
  • will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment.

For contact details of the nearest Op Courage service to you, please click on this link

Charities such as Help for Heroes, or Combat Stress are also able to provide mental health support for veterans. 

Prof Tim Briggs CBE, Chairman of the VCHA, said: “Asking for help is the hardest and bravest thing to do, but help is out there either through the NHS or the charity sector.

“It’s also important that colleagues, friends and family remember to look out for anyone you think might be struggling and signpost them to the support you think they might need.” 

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