Suicide aware in retail

Suicide remains a topic many of us feel uncomfortable talking about but it is more common than you might think. Around the world, someone takes their own life every 40 seconds – that’s nearly one million deaths by suicide every year. Suicide is preventable. This content has been created to increase your understanding of suicide and help you explore ways that you can respond to someone who feels that they no longer want to live.

It can be upsetting and potentially triggering to read about suicide. In the event that you’re feeling vulnerable at the moment, you might want to consider reading this content at a time when you don’t feel distressed.

The information and self-help support provided is not a substitute for seeking medical assistance and advice if required. If you are having thoughts of suicide, please seek professional assistance urgently. You can contact the emergency services on 999 if you feel unable to keep yourself safe, and your local A&E will also be able to provide you with help.

Alternatively, the Samaritans are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 116 123.

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If you are affected by any of this content, please call our free and confidential helpline on

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    Suicide in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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    Unlike people, suicide doesn’t discriminate. Suicide affects people of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, professions, religious backgrounds, and ethnicities. It’s estimated that one in five of us have considered ending our own lives at some point highlighting that suicidal feelings and suicide are more common than many people think.

  • Man walking towards a beautiful sunset along a straight path with barren land on his left and lush land on his right

    Why people die by suicide

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    There are many reasons why people consider ending their life – as many reasons in fact as there are people. Suicide is not straightforward and is often the result of an individual experiencing many difficult things happening at once. (2/11)

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    The truth about suicide: dispelling the myths

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    Despite the fact that nearly one million people around the world take their own lives every year, suicide remains very stigmatised and misunderstood. In this article, you’ll discover the truths behind the myths. (3/11)

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    Why language is important in suicide prevention

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    Considering the language we use to describe suicide is really important when supporting someone who may be thinking about taking their life. Seemingly innocuous words have the power to hurt despite that being the last thing we want to do. (4/11)

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    Recognising the signs that someone may be suicidal

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    it’s not uncommon for people to try and tell a friend, family member or colleague about their intentions in advance. Recognising how someone might express their feelings is an important part of knowing how to respond. (5/11)

  • Man talking openly to a friend

    Supporting someone who is feeling suicidal

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    Kindness isn’t rocket science, it’s rocket fuel. Compassion and kindness go a long way in helping someone to make the decision to stay alive and we all have it in us to make a real difference. Here are some ways that you can help someone who feels that they’ve run out of options. (6/11)

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    Common questions about suicide in the retail sector

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    Knowing what to do in certain situations can be difficult, especially if you’ve never encountered them before. This article addresses some of the more common scenarios involving colleagues who are feeling suicidal and offers sound advice on what to do should you encounter them. (7/11)

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    How are people supported by suicide-prevention professionals?

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    It can be distressing not to know how someone you’ve supported will be helped once they engage with healthcare professionals who become responsible for their care, but it’s important to recognise that these specialists are best placed to provide a safe space to someone who is suicidal. This article looks at how healthcare professionals support people in crisis. (8/11)

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    Suicide prevention services in the UK and ROI

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    Knowing where to access help is a vital part of supporting someone who is feeling suicidal. Here is an overview of national orgainsations who are there to help. (9/11)

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    Self-care – things you can do to stay well when supporting others

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    Supporting others can be emotionally demanding, especially if you’re not feeling in a good place yourself. It’s really important to put your own wellbeing first and look after yourself on a daily basis, especially if you’re helping someone who is feeling vulnerable. (10/11)

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    Suicide awareness: a story of hope

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    This extract from ‘The Female Mind: A User’s Guide’ explores the role of hope in helping someone to make the decision to live. Hope cannot be underestimated, and it’s easier to inspire than you might think. (11/11)

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    Suicide prevention conversation – Zara and Rafiq

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    Knowing what to say to someone who is suicidal can be difficult but we’ve made it easier with this short video. 

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    Suicide prevention conversation – Mark and Simone

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    Knowing what to say to someone who is suicidal can be difficult but we’ve made it easier with this short video. 

  • People sat in a relaxed work environment chatting

    Support in the workplace after a suicide

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    The suicide of a colleague always has a profound emotional effect in the workplace. Even if you didn’t know the individual well, you may have unanswered questions and feel very vulnerable. It’s important therefore that the employers are able to respond to the needs of all colleagues regardless of their relationship with the person who has died.

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