Suicide: Are Vulnerable and Disabled Adults More at Risk?
Posted on 7th September 2023 at 10:38
World Suicide Prevention Day is hosted on 10 September each year by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and provides the opportunity for people across the world to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention.
What is Suicide?
Suicide is when someone deliberately ends their own life voluntarily and intentionally. Suicide is a very tragic response to some difficult situations and feelings, and unfortunately one in five people have thought about suicide at some point in their life. Whilst people who live with a mental illness are generally more likely to feel suicidal and make an attempt on their life, it’s important to remember that not all people who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
Suicidal thoughts can be complex, scary, confusing, and often lonely to deal with, and there is no single reason for why people are likely to die by suicide. Social, economic, psychological, genetic, and cultural factors can contribute to a person being at greater risk of suicidal thoughts.
Difficult life events. Such as a traumatic event, traumatic childhood, experiencing abuse, whether physical or emotional
Something upsetting or life changing like a relationship coming to an end or the death of a loved one
Being dependent on drugs or alcohol
Living alone or having little social contact with friends or family
Having a mental health condition
Having a physical health condition, which causes pain or severe disability
Financial or work problems
Men are at greater risk of suicide than women, while suicide rates vary across the UK, males account for more deaths by suicide than women in each nation. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 5219 suicides were registered as the cause of death in 2021 in England. This makes an overall suicide rate of 10.5 per 100,000. The male suicide rate in England was 15.8 per 100,000, compared to a female suicide rate of 5.5 per 100,000. Males ages 50-54 were found to have the highest suicide rate at 22.5 per 100,000.
An under-researched area is suicide among trans and non-binary people. According to the LGBTQI+ charity Stonewall, almost half of trans people, 46%, have thought about taking their life in the last year.
Disabled people are for more likely to die by suicide than non-disabled people. According to the 2021 data from the Office for National Statistics, for disabled men the death rate was over three times higher at 48.3 per 100,000 people compared to 15.8 per 100,000 people for non-disabled men. For women, the number for Disabled women was over four times higher, with 18.9 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people compared to 5.5 per 100,000 people for non-disabled women.
Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK said: “The disproportionately high suicide rate amongst Disabled people is truly shocking. It is yet more evidence that Disabled people are the hardest hit by cuts in public services, reducing incomes and rising costs. We face inadequate health and social care services, punitive benefit processes, low levels of benefits and wages and the huge impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Energy, food, housing, and care costs are spiralling out of control, leaving us cold, hungry, in debt and feeling abandoned.”
If you are feeling suicidal:
Speak to somebody you trust, whether that be family member, friend, carer, support worker, teacher, medical professional, or anyone else
Call the Samaritans 24-hour support service on 116 123, they are a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide
Contact NHS 111 or go to you nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department and tell the staff how you are feeling
Make an urgent appointment to see your GP
What to do if someone you know is suicidal:
Encourage them to talk about their feelings
Encourage them to seek treatment and support from a service or medical professional.
Offer emotional support by listening, offering reassurance, staying calm, being patient, try not to make assumptions and keep contact
Offer practical support by researching useful information, help them to find support and make an appointment with a professional, attend the appointment with them if they would like and ask them what would help
Help them think of ideas for self-help
Help them make a support plan
Make yourself available for them, if they need your support, but also remember to look after your own mental health
What to do in an emergency
If someone has attempted suicide, call 999, perform first aid and follow the advice of the operator, answering the questions as best as you can. Stay with the person until the ambulance arrives.
If you’re worried that someone is at immediate risk of taking their own life, you should do the following if you are able to:
Remove anything that might be used to harm themselves
Stay with them
Get emergency help
Samaritans- 116 123
Papyrus HOPELINE- 0800 068 4141
How can we help?
Academy Care, are a domiciliary care company, providing support to individuals whom for reasons of ill health or disability, could benefit from long or short-term domiciliary care services in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home. Our highly trained, passionate carers, support people daily in their own homes, to optimise both their independence and wellbeing.
We create tailored care plans to meet the needs of all our clients, working with the client, their family and any medical or social services to ensure that the client gets the very best care for them. We also continuously monitor these care plans to ensure that they are up to date with the needs of the client, as needs can change very quickly.
We will work with you, the client’s family to deliver the care, helping to ensure that everyone involved is happy with the care being provided and that the client’s needs are being met through our service.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you, give us a call on 01924 925 244, alternatively look at our services here.
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