SOS Silence of Suicide
The provision of support, intervention, direct & indirect counselling and support for such persons through a series of group, free (to the end user) meetings across the country to facilitate dialogue about suicide and associated mental health issues, reducing stigma, silence and shame. This will engage the bereaved, those who have attempted suicide, those considering suicide & those concerned for a person with suicidal tendencies. To research & educate to enable a better understanding throughout society of the causes, symptoms and effects of suicide and to liaise with agencies (including Government) to formulate policy in the mental health arena. Services are face to face, online, or by telephone
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
We encourage individuals and groups whose mental wellbeing has been destabilised to come forward to talk and explore how they are feeling and the possible causes of this. We support people who not only have feelings of suicide, have attempted it, or been bereaved by it, but for those with disorders such as anxiety and depression, aiming to help stabilise their minds by working through the factors that may be adding to their feeling of destabilisation. We are all inclusive, both in our physical and online meetings, believing that whatever one’s experience of suicide, we can all learn from each other. Our ongoing aim is to increase awareness, conversation, understanding and empathy, thereby reducing stigma, shame and silence. We offer free, confidential, one to one telephone support as well as an online chat facility, designed to make the service user feel safe, heard, understood, unjudged and valued as an individual.
What are your current priorities?
To extend our hours of service for our users, existing and new. Covid has unbalanced the mental wellbeing of many and heightened the vulnerabilities for those already struggling to cope. We are looking at ways to reach more isolated communities – not just geographical locations, but isolated work communities too, such as farmers. We are thinking about long term strategies and the resources and services required to tackle the legacy of Covid should the virus be eradicated.
What challenges are you currently facing?
We are a micro charity. We have just 1 paid employee. Everyone else is a volunteer. Funding for staff that are desperately needed is incredibly hard to come by, meaning we cannot expand as we would like to, in order to reach more communities such as the elderly. Covid has meant re-aligning our services. No longer can we offer a physical one one to service. Everything is remote. This has meant huge cost with volunteers having to adapt and learn new skills very quickly. Without a huge budget, reaching people in need can be difficult.