Health Information Week dedicates itself to the belief that quality information about health can help people make informed decisions in how to keep healthy and better manage illness.

This year, each day of Health Information Week has focused on a separate issue:

  • Monday 1st July: Healthy lifestyles
  • Tuesday 2nd July: Mental health; and patient stories
  • Wednesday 3rd July: Health and digital literacy
  • Thursday 4th July: Long term conditions; and social prescribing
  • Friday 5th July: Innovations for preventing illness
  • Saturday 6th July: Patient stories
  • Sunday 7th July: Mindfulness and relaxation.

While all of these subjects are important; something is missing. The biggest killer of young people of both sexes from the ages of 5 to 45 is suicide. The biggest risk to health and our lives between these ages is ourselves. If we are going to be able to make good use of any of the information made available on these days to support our wellbeing- we need to first be safe from suicide.

The number of young lives lost to suicide is a national scandal. And it’s something that is not widely known or talked about. Suicide prevention is key in reducing suicide across the country. Just as road traffic fatalities have been reduced by national campaigns, awareness and prevention measures – the same too can happen for suicide.

Parents across the country will make their children aware of many dangers; things like road awareness, terrorism, drugs, alcohol, healthy eating and knife crime. All of these things certainly need to be talked about to help young people keep safe and alive. But parents and care givers need also to learn how to talk about suicide. So here at PAPYRUS we want to share this Health Information Week that talking about suicide safely does not cost lives – but can save them. If you’re worried someone you know is suicidal – ask them clearly and directly. It’s not up to us then to find solutions but we can direct people to help. If we know how someone feels, there’s a chance they can be saved.

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