Suicide prevention

Thursday marks World Suicide Prevention day.
Jerry Thompson was a dad and top footballer, who took his own life before last Christmas.

'Talking about suicide makes it smaller'

BBC Ideas hears the powerful stories of three people who came close to suicide
Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, here are the stories of three people who came close to suicide, but decided to live.

Northumberland widower raises suicide awareness after losing his wife

Widower Gordon Allan wants people to talk about suicide to try to save lives.

He's written an open letter after his wife Sally took her own life, to mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

The 64-year-old had been married to Sally for 37 years when she left her family home in Ponteland, in the early hours of Boxing Day.

The case attracted national media attention after lots of people responded to a social media page set up by the Allan family.

Gordon and Sally Allan
Northumbria Police

Since then Mr Allan has devoted himself to learning more about mental illness and the triggers which can lead to suicide.

He works with Northumbria Police to help it improve its response.

Sally’s case was so powerful – I think it also showed the need for emergency services to improve their support in such emotive situations.

I had a few different family liaison officers and they didn’t have access to the same resources I was being given from various charities."

Gordan Allan

County's suicide rate 'could climb because of coronavirus'

More than 60 people in Cumbria took their own lives last year, and mental health experts are warning that the figure could rise as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that Cumbria's suicide rate is one of the highest in the country.

Chris Wood is from the charity, Every Life Matters, says uncertainty and debts, particularly leading up to Christmas, could make matters worse.

Covid-19 has already had quite a large impact on the nation's health, we're seeing quite large increases in anxiety and depression."

Chris Wood