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September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations health arm, are encouraging people to “Light a Candle Near a Window at 8 PM” to show support for suicide prevention, to remember a loved one lost through suicide and for the survivors of suicide.
Lighting a candle near a window at 8pm offers people, who cannot participate in a World Suicide Prevention Day event, the opportunity to observe the Day in a private and personal way.
IASP has prepared special Light a Candle near a Window at 8pm postcards or e-cards in various languages so supporters can send these reminders to friends, colleagues and loved ones. Also, these postcards can be used by bloggers, writers and others so that they can share information about suicide, suicide prevention and World Suicide Prevention Day. Postcards can be downloaded from the IASP website at
If you do use a candle please be fire safe and do not leave it unattended or near combustible materials including curtains.
More safety advice at
How to cope with suicidal
thoughts and feelings
Remember that while it may seem as if these suicidal thoughts and feelings will never end, this is never a permanent condition. You will feel better again. In the meantime, there are some ways to help cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Things to do:
• Talk with someone every day, preferably face-to-face. Though you may feel like withdrawing, ask trusted
friends and acquaintances to spend time with you. Or continue to call a crisis helpline and talk about your feelings.
• Make a safety plan. Develop a set of steps that you can follow during a suicidal crisis. It should include contact numbers for your doctor or therapist, as well as friends and family members
who will help in an emergency.
• Make a written schedule for yourself every day and stick to it, no matter what. Keep a regular routine as much as possible, even when your feelings seem out of control.
• Get out in the sun or into nature for at least 30 minutes a day.
• Exercise as vigorously as is safe for you.
To get the most benefit, aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. But you can start small. Three 10-minute bursts of activity can have a
positive effect on mood.
• Make time for things that bring you joy. Even if very few things bring you pleasure at the moment, force yourself to do the things you used to enjoy.
• Remember your personal goals. You may have always wanted to travel to a particular place, read a specific book, own a pet, move to another place, learn a new hobby, volunteer, go back to school, or start a family. Write your personal goals down.
Things to avoid:
• Being alone. Solitude can make suicidal thoughts even worse. Visit a friend, or family member, or pick up the phone and call a crisis helpline.
• Alcohol and drugs. Drugs and alcohol can increase depression, hamper your problem-solving ability, and can make you act impulsively.
• Doing things that make you feel worse. Listening to sad music, looking at certain photographs, reading old letters, or visiting a loved one’s grave can all increase negative feelings.
• Thinking about suicide and other negative thoughts - Try not to become preoccupied with suicidal thoughts as this can make them even stronger. Don’t think and rethink negative thoughts. Find a distraction. Giving yourself a break from suicidal thoughts can help, even if it’s for a short time.
Some helpful numbers:
Merseyside Fire & Rescue
Occupational Health Team – 0151 296 4917.
Employee Assistance Programme – 0800 282 193.
The Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90. CALM – 0800 58 58 58.
Images provided by: IASP.

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