Real voices offer real hope in new campaign
Voices of people with previous experience of feeling suicidal take the lead in the new campaign from OK to Ask in St Helens Borough, encouraging people to talk about suicidal feelings.
Article date: September 20th 2023
The campaign, which has launched after World Suicide Prevention Day earlier this month, focuses on the theme 'real voices, real hope' with words of encouragement from residents who have themselves experienced suicidal feelings.
Their words are the leading the call for people to talk about their feelings and for others to be comfortable having that conversation with any friend or family member who might be struggling.
Nicola* says: "I spent 15 years hiding behind my smile - but I survived it and you can too. I am constantly being told how far I have come. I can now see that I have my whole life ahead of me. And it WILL be one I can be proud of."
Kate* says: "I've reached points where I've thought there is no hope and there was only one option. But talking absolutely does help. Speaking to someone stops you from immediately acting on your thoughts. It's okay to reach out, I'm glad I did."
Talking about their involvement in the campaign they said: "Ok to Ask is a really powerful message and one that we are totally behind. The power to have that conversation with other people really can save lives and help people who might be struggling to open up."
Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: "The OK to Ask campaign highlights the power of conversation and how talking about difficult thoughts and feelings really can help people when they are struggling to reach out for support. Ok to Ask promotes the support available from organisations like Samaritans and the MerseyCare 24 hour helpline. There is also free online 20 minute training that anyone can access that might help them have a conversation to save a life. We all have a role to play and we're grateful for those who have given their support and shared their personal experiences, showing that talking to others can bring hope to people who may need help."
For urgent mental health support, please contact the 24/7 Mersey Care crisis line on 0800 051 1508.
For the free 20 minute Zero Suicide Alliance training, please go to 20 minute suicide awareness training (zerosuicidealliance.com) and learn the skills to potentially have a lifesaving conversation.
The StayAlive app is a suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in a crisis which you can find online here: StayAlive - Essential suicide prevention for everyday life
To find out more about mental health and suicide prevention support, resources and training, please visit the online Ok To Ask resource hub: www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk
*Names changed to protect identity.