The Fed’s Director of Community Services, Bernie Garner, highlights
the importance of greater mental health awareness in the community and offers
some simple yet essential advice on getting help for yourself or someone else
experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“There is never a good time to accept that you need to turn
to others for help, but asking for support is never a weakness. On the
contrary, accepting you need it can be the first step on the road back to
Just as important is knowing what help to offer if you
believe a loved one or a friend is considering self-harm or suicide.
There are organisations – both Jewish and general – who operate 24/7, offering support to people who are at their lowest ebb.
Supporting someone in crisis
Someone having suicidal thoughts might not ask for help, but
that doesn’t mean that they aren’t desperate for support. Feeling ashamed,
worthless and lacking hope can make it incredibly difficult to let others know what
they are experiencing.
If you are concerned about someone there are a few things
you can do:
- Firstly, show them that you
care by telling them that you are worried about them and want to help.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss
suicide with them – asking them about it won’t ‘put the idea in their head’.
You can be upfront and ask if they are considering harming themselves or ending
- Call for help and encourage
them to look for help. Reassure them that they are not alone, and that there
are people and organisations who can help them out of their current situation.
Offer to stay with the person until they get help.
I repeat: Don’t avoid talking about suicide.
Discussing it in an open, non-judgemental and sensitive manner can allow
someone in crisis to know that they are not facing things on their own and help
Coping with Suicidal Feelings
If you are having thoughts about self-harming or killing yourself
or are concerned about your own wellbeing and you don’t feel you can keep
yourself safe, seek help immediately.
Go straight to any hospital A&E department, or call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you can’t get there yourself.
As a further option, ask someone else to call 999 for you or to take you to A&E.
If you need immediate support but don’t want to go to A&E there are other organisations you can call:
1. The Samaritans on Freephone 116 123. They are there to listen and are open 24 hours a day
2. Your GP’s surgery. Tell them you need an emergency appointment
3. NHS 111
4. Crisis Point on 0161 225 9500
5. Sane Line on 0845 767 8000
6. Your local council’s out-of-hours duty team: Bury – 0161 253 6606; Salford – 0161 794 8888; Manchester – 0161 234 5001
7. Papyrus (Prevention of Young Suicide Helpline) on 0800 068 4141 or via text on 07786 209 696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health in our Community
It’s vital that we all keep working together to break the
stigma of mental ill-health and the perception that it is embarrassing or
something to be ashamed of.
According to the Mental Health charity MIND, approximately 1
in 4 people will experience a mental health problem every year, and 1 in 6
people report experiencing a common mental health problem every week.
Mental Health and
For those who are caring for a loved one, looking after your
own mental health is essential. If the person you are caring for has demanding
care needs – physically, mentally or both – it can be extremely challenging and
can take its toll on your emotional, physical and psychological health.
But carers often don’t think about their own needs and don’t acknowledge that in order to take better care of someone else, they must look after themselves. This is not selfish.
If you are caring for a loved one and find that your
day-to-day activities and ability to cope are affected by your mental health
struggles, then it may be the right time to be seeking help.
Many people are unaware of the help that is available or how
to access it or they feel unable to ask for it.
Talk to someone about how you feel and what help is
available is so important.
The Fed is here for any Jewish person, living in north or
south Manchester, who needs help, support or advice, whether due to a sudden
crisis or long-term problem, needing a quick piece of information or ongoing
practical support. We also help anyone who is concerned for, or looking after,
a Jewish person.
You can speak to The Fed’s daily Advice and Support Worker
who may be able to resolve your query straightaway or will refer your case to be
looked at in in more detail, with a view to providing you with the advice,
support and guidance you need to manage your situation.
Contact us on 0161
772 4800 (option 2) Monday to Friday 9:30 – 5:30