Why World Mental Health Day is more important than ever
As yesterday marked the 27th celebration of World Mental Health Day, leading CBT provider, Onebright has been reflecting on why there’s never been a more important time to highlight mental health issues in the UK.
With the focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day shining a light on suicide prevention, Onebright are delighted that the campaign is opening up a dialogue on such an important issue.
Last year, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, which saw an 11.8 per cent increase on last year and according to the WHO, more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year.
This year’s campaign for World Mental Health Day is calling on governments around the world to do more to tackle this universal issue and give it the priority it deserves when deciding future public health strategies.
Onebright strongly believe that more actions need to be taken to prevent depressive and suicidal thoughts in individuals and are strong advocates for accessible, quality mental health care. The organisation offer cognitive behavioural therapy for a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, stress and OCD.
How can CBT help alleviate suicidal thoughts?
Research has shown the CBT can be effective in treating suicidal individuals and decreasing suicide attempts. When dealing with suicidal inclinations, a CBT therapist will work with the individual to help identify the source of these suicidal thoughts and explore new ways to build healthier thoughts, behaviours and belief systems.
In situations where an individual has attempted suicide in the past, a CBT therapist will work with the individual to help make sense of their actions and motivations. For example, an individual who is demonstrating strong suicidal tendencies, may uphold the belief that their pain will continue for ever and that their problems are incurable.
In this instance, a CBT professional will steadily help the individual build new skills that will help them identify and manage these feelings. This could be anything from creating coping cards that include motivational actions or creating a worry diary that documents your thoughts and feelings.
As part of the suicide prevention campaign for World Mental Health Day, organisations are encouraging people to use the WAIT acronym if they suspect someone they know is suicidal.
Watch out for signs of distress or uncharacteristic behaviour e.g. withdrawing from friends, irritability or increased talk of death or suicide.
Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?” It’s important to know that asking about suicidal thoughts doesn’t encourage it. All it does is open up a safe platform for the individual to open up and share their feelings, which is the first step to getting help.
It will pass. Letting someone know that their suicidal feelings will pass in time will offer hope.
Talk to others. Encouraging someone who feels suicidal to seek professional help is extremely important and can help save their life.
If you or someone you know feels suicidal or have been experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can speak to one of our BABCP accredited therapists.