Stuart Low Trust was founded in memory of Stuart Low, a young Islington man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who took his own life after failing to find the support he needed to cope. Read more about the history of the organisation.
The 10th September each year, has been designated as a way of focusing attention on the problems of suicide worldwide. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to start the conversation about suicide and to show that recovery is possible.
This year’s theme is “Creating Hope Through Action”. This renewed message is one of hope; that aims to empower people with confidence to engage with this complex subject. Through this theme we aim to work together, with individuals and organisations, to help create a movement of preventative action, to drive behaviour change and ultimately, prevent more suicides.
‘Creating Hope Through Action’ is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments – as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and to promote action through proven means that will reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts globally.
How do we Create Hope through Action?
Stigma is a major barrier to help-seeking. Changing the narrative around suicide through the promotion of hope can create a more compassionate society where those in need feel more comfortable in coming forward to seek help. We can all do something to live in a world where suicide is recognised and we can all do something to help prevent it.
You can help give someone hope by showing that you care. We can all play a role, no matter how small. We all can reach out and ask somebody how they are feeling. You do not need to tell them what to do or have solutions, but simply making the time and space to listen to someone, can help. Small conversations, or helpful distractions can save lives and create a sense of connection and hope in somebody who may be struggling.
The insights and stories of people with a lived experience of suicide can be extremely powerful in helping others understand suicide better and encourage people to reach in to support someone, and for individuals to reach out for help themselves. However it’s really important that the person sharing their story knows how to do so in a way that is safe for them and for those who hear their story.
Personal stories of experiences of recovery can inspire hope in others that they too can move through the period of distress, and their insights can help others understand what it means to feel suicidal and how they can support others.
By encouraging understanding, reaching out and sharing experiences, we want to give people the confidence to take action. To prevent suicide requires us to become a beacon of light to those in pain. Together we can be the light.
Countering the downward spiral of mental illness and social isolation
Stuart Low Trust aims to counter the downward spiral of mental illness and social isolation by providing a welcoming, place of support and community in a non-judgemental space.
We run a variety of activities, both in person and online, the majority of which are free or low cost, which bring people together. Most activities are evening and weekend events based in and around Islington.
Take a minute to listen
The International Association for Suicide Prevention recommends providing a listening ear to anyone who is struggling. Reach out with empathy, compassion, genuine concern.
Take a minute:
- To notice what is going on with you, your family, your friends and your colleagues.
- To reach out and start a conversation if you notice something is different.
- To find out what help is available for both you and others.
Take 5 to Save Lives has a helpful resource to support you with these conversations.
How to maintain your mental health in times of uncertainty
Self-care is vital, particularly at times of uncertainty. Here is a list of tips and resources to support you to maintain your wellbeing:
- Stuart Low Trust Participants came up with some tips and advice for managing anxiety.
- Advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Read tips for being kind to yourself and maintaining your wellbeing from our gardening project.
- Tips from members of the Stuart Low Trust community on how to maintain mental health and wellbeing.
Get help if you or someone you know is in crisis
If you or someone you know is in crisis, seek support. Here is our list of mental health crisis support: https://www.slt.org.uk/mental-health-crisis-support