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Day 1 – PAPYRUS is here for you this holiday season

The holiday season can be difficult for a lot of people – whether you don’t celebrate Christmas, or you’re struggling to feel festive – PAPYRUS is here to support you this time of year. We want to share #12Days12Ways that PAPYRUS can support you this holiday season. From direct support for young people through our HOPELINEUK service, to coping mechanisms and distraction techniques to help to keep you safe from suicide.

We want to make sure you have accessible and tangible ways to keep yourself safe from suicide this holiday season. So, keep an eye on our social media over the coming 12 days, and remember that we are here for you every single day – including Christmas Day.

Day 2 – Coping strategies

Our ‘Coping Strategies’ resource is here to support you this holiday season. Whether you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, or you’re concerned for a young person and are looking to support them – this resource gives plenty of practical tips to stay safe from suicide.

When trying to cope with overwhelming feelings and emotions, we can develop coping strategies that may not always be healthy and can potentially be harmful. We might do this to express emotional pain, to numb emotional pain, to feel something different or to regain a sense of control.

Day 3 – HOPELINEUK

HOPELINEUK is our free and confidential suicide prevention helpline, and we are open every single day to support you, including Christmas Day.

If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, or you’re concerned for a young person who might be, then please do get in touch. Our team of advisers are really friendly, and tailor a suicide-safety plan that is unique to you.

You can reach us via call, text or email from 9am to midnight, every single day of the year.

Day 4 – Spotting the signs that somebody may be suicidal

Sometimes, spotting the signs that somebody is suicidal is incredibly difficult. We don’t often wear our emotions on our sleeves, especially with the stigma and shame associated with suicide.

If you’re worried about somebody, or you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour/ language or appearance this holiday season, and wonder if they might be having suicidal thoughts – the best thing that you can do in that situation is to ask directly.

‘Are you having thoughts of suicide?’

Even if the answer is ‘no’, the young person will know that you’re a safe person to talk to in the future, should they need support with suicidal thoughts.

Our HOPELINEUK advisers can help guide you through this conversation safely too, so please do get in touch with us if you want support in starting a conversation around suicide.

Day 5 – HOPELINEUK is here for under 35s

Our HOPELINEUK service is here for anybody under the age of 35 who might be struggling with thoughts of suicide.

We are a free, confidential service, and you do not need to be referred to us from your GP or healthcare professional. Our number will not appear on your phone bill, and we will not need to speak to your parents in order for you to contact us.

If you’d prefer to text us, then you can speak to our advisers via text on 07860 039 967

Day 6 – HOPELINEUK is here for concerned others

If you’re worried that a young person might be experiencing suicidal thoughts this holiday season, HOPELINEUK is here to support you.

Our trained suicide prevention advisers work with thousands of concerned others and are here to support you in a variety of different ways; from looking after your own mental health as you support a loved one through thoughts of suicide, to sharing techniques and tips for opening up a conversation around suicide safely.

Day 7 – HOPELINEUK is here for professionals

HOPELINEUK runs a debrief service for any professional who has had an encounter with suicide, and wants to talk it through with a trained professional.

We support lots of professionals through our service, ranging from emergency responders, to GPs, teachers, counsellors, nurses and more. We can help you to debrief after a difficult conversation or experience, and offer you practical advice for supporting somebody, or yourself.

You can access our debrief service by calling HOPELINEUK, we are here to support you from 9am to midnight, every single day of the year.

Day 8 – Distraction techniques

When experiencing thoughts of suicide, it can be helpful to try and use distraction techniques as part of your plan to stay safe. Distractions can bring focus to something else which can help quieten those thoughts.

Having a series of techniques to use throughout the holiday season can be lifesaving – take a look at our ‘Distraction Techniques’ resource, to find ways to distract yourself from thoughts of suicide.

Day 9 – Language Line

HOPELINEUK is partnered with Language Line, giving us access to translators in many languages. This means that even if you speak limited or no English, you can still access our suicide prevention service, and work on a unique suicide safety plan with our trained advisers.

Day 10 – HOPELINK

When you contact HOPELINEUK, our suicide prevention advisers will work on a suicide safety plan with you. This plan is completely unique to you, and incorporates coping mechanisms and techniques that can help to keep you safe. Your adviser will create your safety plan, and then provide you with log in details for accessing your plan after you’ve finished the call with us.

You can access your suicide safety plan 24/7 via our HOPELINK service. You’ll find our HOPELINK log in on the homepage on the PAPYRUS website.

Day 11 – Conversation starters

Starting a conversation about suicide with a loved one can be scary, and can be challenging. You may have noticed a change in how somebody is acting this holiday season, and want to find out if they’re having thoughts of suicide. The best way to ask, is by being direct. ‘Are you having thoughts of suicide?’

People hesitate to use the word suicide, as they think that they might put the idea into somebody’s head. We know that this is not the case, you can’t put the idea of suicide into somebody’s head – but by asking about suicide you’ve giving that person permission to talk openly about how they’re feeling.

Avoid language such as ‘are you thinking of harming yourself?’ or ‘are you thinking about doing something stupid?’ – as this indirect language may not necessarily relate to suicide.

If the person says, ‘no’, then you have shown yourself to be a safe person to talk to in the future, should they even need to disclose thoughts of suicide.

If the person says, ‘yes’, then it’s really important that you listen – let them speak – and do not try to ‘fix’ the situation. It’s hard not to step in when a loved one discloses thoughts of suicide, but in that moment, the best way to support that person is to let them talk and release all of the thoughts and feelings that they are experiencing. HOPELINEUK is here to support you at this stage too, please do pick up the phone to our advisers, who can help.

Our ‘Conversation Starters’ resource is very helpful if you’re wanting to open up a conversation around suicide this festive season.

Day 12 – We’re here for you every single day

HOPELINEUK is here for you, every single day of the year. We’re open from 9am to midnight, and are ready to support you on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, too – should you need us.

You are not alone this holiday season – there is an adviser at the end of the line to help and support you if you are struggling with life, if you’re concerned about a young person, or if you need to debrief after an encounter with suicide.

Call 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039 967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

#12Days12Ways resource list:

Coping Strategies – resource

Distraction Techniques – resource

Conversation Starters – resource

PAPYRUS help and advice resources

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