Home Mental Health & Well-Being On Suicide Prevention Day Wheelchair-Bound Former British Soldier Lifts the Lid

On Suicide Prevention Day Wheelchair-Bound Former British Soldier Lifts the Lid

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Disabled adventurer and suicide prevention campaigner Nick Wilson has been raising his concerns about the lack of representation for survivors of suicide and how little information is gathered about the issue of attempted suicide or is discussed within the wider suicide prevention conversation.

According to a King’s College report in 2019, an estimated 140,000 suicide attempts are made yearly. However, those involved with suicide prevention think it to be more like 200k, with not every attempt survived being reported or resulting in hospitalisation. This only highlights part of the problem, with limited data for specific statistics and facts to be stated confidently.

“There’s a lot of assumptions made with each completed suicide, and tragically, the individual can’t tell their story or provide details around what and why. Survivors of Suicide have a wealth of information, for example, were there any barriers to accessing support, what worked well, what didn’t, the time it took to treat, have they attempted before and the support they wanted but didn’t get, etc.”

“It isn’t solely learning about their journey through help and support to improve access and services offered. Like we are seeing more bereaved family members speaking out, which strengthens families in similar positions, we need survivors’ stories to be shared so individuals struggling can see hope and have role models to inspire and empower them.

“I’ve been trying to get heard by telling my story for five years now, during which time I also ran a men’s peer support group and have seen first-hand people being failed and ignored, whilst losing good friends to suicide after not getting help. For every one death by suicide, there are an estimated 40 attempts, and surviving doesn’t suddenly become a good news story; it’s a long, long road, and you’re not guaranteed to receive the support you need. 

“Through sharing people’s stories and with greater representation for survivors of attempted suicide, we can not only spread a message of hope but show individuals the courageous warriors who’ve survived and how it is possible.”

Guidance from the government to the media on such matters is outdated and paints a bleak picture that puts broadcasters and journalists off from engaging with survivors or reporting on attempted suicide.

A part of the guidance suggests speaking about attempted suicide could prove detrimental and triggering to some, a point which has been categorically proven not to be the case and isn’t the recommendation of charities such as Samaritans and Grassroots Suicide Prevention.

The research shows that talking about it safely and positively can inspire and empower people struggling.

Nick has been speaking out about his lived experiences with surviving a suicide attempt, managing suicidal ideation, and the issues individuals face when seeking help and support.

He has also just launched his new podcast, “Lived Experience Chats”, which sees him being filmed speaking to guests about their experiences with disability, mental health, and suicide to share their stories and give a voice to people who don’t feel they are being heard or seen. With National Suicide Awareness Day yesterday highlighting everything – now is the perfect time to report on this massive topic.

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