‘Are you OK?’ on Suicide Prevention Day

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Samaritans are marking World Suicide Prevention Day today (Thursday) by encouraging those worried about a friend, family member or colleague to ask, “Are you OK?”

Every year more than 6,000 people in the United Kingdom take their own lives.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this year showed men were three times more likely to commit suicide than women.

But Samaritans believe letting someone know they’re not alone and someone will listen can make a big difference - even at really difficult times.

A Samaritans spokesman said sharing a problem is the first step to finding a way through it.

“It takes a bit of bravery, but if you suspect someone’s having a tough time, reach out if you can,” he said.

Let them talk and just listen - try not to judge

Samaritans spokesman

“Let them talk and just listen - try not to judge.

“If they make it clear they don’t want to talk to you, let them know Samaritans is here, round the clock every single day of the year, for anyone who needs the space to think and talk in confidence.”

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland says while you can’t take on another person’s troubles, you can let them know you care.

“If you ask, ‘Are you OK?’ and show you are there to listen, people are far less likely to feel they have to go it alone with their troubles,” she said.

“Often it’s not about looking for someone to fix a problem – sometimes the biggest help can be having someone to share it with.”

Samaritans offers round-the-clock support for anyone who’s struggling, whoever they are, however they are feeling, and whatever life has done to them.

People can contact Samaritans in confidence by phone, email, text or face to face in one of its 201 branches. Anyone who wants to talk in confidence to Samaritans can call 08457 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org