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Suicide prevention campaigners collaborate in support of World Suicide Prevention Day

A workplace wellbeing provider has teamed up with leading suicide prevention campaigners to release a second edition of its free guide in support of World Suicide Prevention Day this Friday (10th September 2021).

The guide, produced last year by wellbeing specialists Champion Health, reached tens of thousands of people across 26 countries with dozens of people coming forward to share their own stories. The strong response led to the growing Champion Health team to revisit the guide to understand how they could improve it further, partnering with specialists in suicide prevention to ensure the guide encompasses as much support as possible for those concerned about suicide.

Contributing authors of the 2021 guide include Champion Health’s CEO Harry Bliss who lost his mentor and friend to suicide when starting the company. He is joined by Alice Hendy, founder of R;pple Suicide Prevention, a browser extension Alice has designed to intercept harmful content relating to self-harm and suicide following the loss of her brother Josh to suicide last year. Josh had been researching techniques to take his own life via harmful online searches.

Steve Phillip, the founder of The Jordan Legacy CIC and Champion Health’s Head of Mission also contributes having lost his son Jordan to suicide in 2019.

And former journalist, Mike McCarthy, shares his thoughts and story in memory of his late son, Ross, earlier this year.

All four authors have turned their personal heartache into helping to reduce startling suicide rates, with the guide touching on their own stories with practical and emotional advice and support organisations available to support someone with suicidal thoughts.

CEO of Champion Health, Harry Bliss comments:

“When I started Champion Health, we had a strong team of health professionals behind us. But the area we were lacking was knowing how to run and scale a business. I approached a friend for support who was a director of a global organisation who began to mentor me.

“Six months into Champion Health’s journey everything changed. I received a phone call telling me that my friend and mentor had taken his life due to a short bout of stress. This really shook me; he had no history of mental ill health, he had a wife and two children, and an extremely successful career. After this tragedy, we set out on a mission to change and save lives. We need to do more to support our mental health, and I hope this guide can help, if only a little.”

The World Health Organization estimates that over 700,000 people take their own life each year and for every completed suicide there are many more that attempt suicide. In the UK alone, there are on average 109 deaths by suicide per week and recent figures also show the suicide rate for men is at its highest for two decades (Office for National Statistics, 2020).

‘Creating hope through action’ is the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day this year and Champion Health says we can all do our bit, with Steve Phillip keen to emphasise the importance of introducing practical actions to prevent families like his experiencing the most devastating of losses.

Steve explains:

“If most authorities on the subject of suicide agree that the majority of these deaths are preventable, then why aren’t numbers reducing?

“If we consider that suicide itself is a practical act, then it makes sense to suggest that we should introduce practical actions to prevent that act. I believe that if our communities, workplaces, third sector organisations and the Government all join forces, then we can deliver a transformational change to how we prevent suicides.”

The guide includes contact details of organisations which can help as well as useful advice, information, and myths around suicide.

To access the guide, visit the Insight’s section of the Champion Health website