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'Every day is a second chance'

News | Published:

Today is World Suicide Prevention day.

Picture By Peter Frankland. 10-09-19 World suicide prevention day. Knitted face at the office of The Guernsey Press HQ.. (25746713)

Around the island people have been spotting knitted smiley faces with kind and inspiring messages on them.

Phrases like 'every day is a second chance' and 'you matter' were tied to the faces and left near businesses, by the bus stop, on railings and on lamp posts.

On the other side of the notes were contact numbers for local organisations whose mission is to support islanders with mental health.

It gives the telephone numbers for the local Samaritans branch, 116123, and Guernsey Mind, 722959.

Advice is also given to contact your GP if needs be.

Director of the Guernsey Samaritans branch Graham Hall said the more people that know about their services the better.

'We appreciate these knitted smiling faces being distributed so that more islanders know about help that is available and the phone number that’s free of charge to call, and available 24/7 for anyone who might be struggling to cope.

'On World Suicide Prevention Day, Samaritans has issued its latest report based on the statistics released by the Office of National Statistics findings for 2018.

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'Sadly, suicide rates in the UK rose for the first time in five years. This includes an increase in young people and the highest suicide rates on record for women under 25 years old.

'Samaritans’ Annual Suicide Statistics Report explains the increase in self-harm among young people over the last 15 years which is a major concern.'

He said suicide prevention is everyone’s business and by addressing risk factors, such as self-harm, it is possible to stop suicide rates from continuing to increase.

Executive director of Guernsey Mind Emily Litten said the knitted faces were a fabulous way to raise awareness about mental health and the importance of small things that can make a big difference.

'You can interpret the smiley faces as a way to feel happy and optimistic about a new day, or a reminder that we’re all the same and we all have difficult times,' she said.

'It’s a great way to bring us all together as a community and to encourage us to reach out when we need support, as the right people will listen and understand. If anyone wants to support mental health in Guernsey or improve their own wellbeing, please contact Guernsey Mind for information about our community groups, workplace training or one-to-one support.'

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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