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February – March 2024 : The little things READ ONLINE


Why suicide?

February 27 2018
Everyone found this assignment tough...

Everyone found this assignment tough...

Our From The Ground Up peer reporters know what it’s like to be homeless. Their aim is to report on topics that get forgotten, or feel too taboo to discuss in mainstream media. That’s why this issue is all about suicide.

Sometimes bald statistics and lived experience make it hard to stay positive, but as Drew Bailey, one of the peer reporting team, writes, “I want people to know there is hope.”

All sorts of things must change, from turning around low self-esteem to challenging government – and even hostel – policy. Read on to get the info, find help and enjoy our writers’ skills.


In a nutshell

Here’s how an off-balance society leads to escalating problems, including suicide for some, plus some ways to turn it around. Research by Matt Hobbs.

1. Suicide attempts rise when times are hard
• Triggers include job insecurity and fear of home repossession
• Having to move breaks up people’s own support structures

2. There’s fragmented health support
• Poor health, and pain, may also be factors
• As wellbeing falls, mental health services are even more important

3. Cuts to public services and poor living conditions remove safety nets
• Homelessness, or no address, makes support less likely
• Living in a more disadvantaged area puts you at a two or three times higher risk of suicide than more advantageous areas.

4. Lack of joined-up thinking adds problems
• Drug and alcohol may be used as self-medication
• But these services have been slashed
• Dual diagnosis can make help even harder to find

5. Positive change is possible
• First be suicide safe. Survive the crisis, see 'You are not alone'
• Find a community that’s true to you
• Make connections, talk, train and volunteer, ideas in 'Not a number'
• Use the listings in this magazine to find support and free counselling.