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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

On the 10th October every year, across the world, World Mental Health Day is observed. The day has a slightly different topic each year, focused around key issues in mental health. This year is centred around suicide prevention.

Every 40 seconds, someone around the world loses their life to suicide.

Not only does the North East have the highest suicide rates in the UK, but it is also on the rise. In 2018, there were 287 suicides recorded, which increased from 248 in 2017.

Suicide is still the biggest killer of men under 45 and there has been an alarming rise in the deaths of young people of all genders losing their lives as a result of mental health issues.

It inevitably affects the workplace too; approximately 15.4 million working days are lost to mental health issues every year, namely stress, anxiety and depression. It is also estimated that 300,000 people lose their job in the UK every year due to long term mental health issues– roughly the population of Newcastle.

If you are affected by any of these issues, there are several options that may help you.

For critical urgent care: call 999 or take yourself to your local A&E department

For non-emergency situations: Visit your GP or call NHS Direct on 111. Trained nurses can give you information about your local crisis support services and provide other health advice.

Samaritans provide confidential and emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. You can call Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone on mobiles and landlines) and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information on Samaritans and the work they do can be found on their website:

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a suicide prevention charity set up especially for men. You can call 0800 585858 for free and confidential advice from 5pm – midnight.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and there will certainly be other charities and avenues you can take to receive help.

On World Mental Health Day, it is important to remember that suicide is never inevitable and always preventable.