The latest suicide statistics showed that in England, more than 4,902 people died by suicide in 2020. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. The 10th of September marks World Suicide Prevention Suicide Day. Every year, organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness and work towards a world where fewer people die by suicide.
Recently, Barley View carer Natasha Sansam embarked on a fundraising campaign to support mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
Through a raffle and sponsored head shave, Natasha was able to raise an incredible £900 to support the charities helpline and webchat services. For Natasha, the stigma around mental health was all too familiar. So, Natasha set about sending a message that couldn’t be ignored.
I think it all started when I was sat with my family, all of us together for the first time after lockdown. My family is 90% male, big burly bikers!
I looked around the room. I saw tired eyes and deflated energies and thought to myself, ‘I constantly turn to this lot for help. When I want something fixed or I needed a no-good boyfriend scaring off. When I need picking up because I’m stressed out over something minor and just need a waggon wheel and a coffee with my dad.’
My John, my fiancé and best mate, struggled all the way through the hundred lockdowns we’ve just had. There were days where I was at work, worrying about what I’d be going home to.
I could clearly see the men I loved were constantly struggling with their own thoughts.
But I knew they would never turn to me.
I didn’t sleep a wink that night thinking about it. So, I decided I was going to raise awareness my own way. A way the stubborn men in my family couldn’t ignore. By shaving my head! That way, every time they looked at me, they would think ‘ah yeah, that’s for that mental health charity’ and hopefully it would sink in!
Although, when I ask john who he would ring if he needed help, he still says “ghostbusters”.
I wanted to support CALM, a charity that is there for people at their most desperate times.
Sadly, while I was raising money and awareness for CALM, 2 men in my local area took their own lives. What I’ve done is only a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed.
Natasha’s donations will enable CALM to answer 112 potentially lifesaving calls on their helpline.
CALM runs a free and confidential helpline and webchat for anyone in the UK who needs to talk or find information and support. Both services operate 365 days a year between 5pm-midnight and provide vital suicide prevention support.
If you need immediate help, please call emergency services on 999 or The Samaritans on 116 123.