10 September 2012
Doctors will be helping alert politicians to the importance of suicide prevention when a film is screened in Parliament today.
It is being shown as part of a joint launch event for the Call for Action for Suicide Prevention in England and the government’s suicide prevention strategy.
The message is that although anyone can experience suicidal thoughts, there is always help available.
The 22-minute film includes expert commentaries from North Wales consultant liaison psychiatrist Alys Cole-King and Edinburgh professor of health policy research Stephen Platt.
Dr Cole-King said the underlying reasons for depression were different for each person, but that however bad someone felt there was always hope of recovery.
‘Sometimes it may be due to a mental illness or triggered by things like the loss of a relationship, the loss of support, physical illness, financial worries, appearing in court or the death of a loved one. All these are types of event that any of us can and do experience during our lives.
‘However, no matter how desperate you feel, if you know where to get help and how to get help, you can get through the crisis,’ she said.
It also features the testimonials of men and women who suffered suicidal thoughts but recovered after seeking assistance.
Actress and Nolan Sisters singer Linda Nolan is the narrator. She was helped by the Samaritans when both her husband and mother died while she was suffering from breast cancer.
To coincide with the film three leaflets have been released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.
These are entitled:
U Can Cope
Feeling On the Edge? Helping You Get Through It and
Feeling Overwhelmed? Helping You Stay Safe
Dr Cole-King has set up the U Can Cope charity, which she hopes will fund the wide distribution of the leaflets.
The BMA has joined more than 100 institutions in supporting the campaign, which is being led by Open Minds Alliance Community Interest Company, the Samaritans, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Southwick Media Consultancy.
BMA CC psychiatry subcommittee chair Shanu Datta says: ‘Completed suicide is devastating for families but relatively rare. However, those who complete suicide may be drawn from a larger group of people, of all ages, who experience suicidal thoughts and hopelessness.
‘These symptoms in those who are vulnerable should raise the alarm among their friends, families and professionals; any initiative which highlights this as part of a suicide prevention strategy is to be welcomed.’