Just a few words.

But a conversation that can change everything.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

Saturday September 10th, 2022 - Joshua Dickerson

The 10th of September has always been a special day for our family. It was, and very much still is my mum’s birthday. But over the past couple of years, it has taken on another meaning for me, as it also officially marks World Suicide Prevention Day.

Over the last few years, I have actively decided to talk about suicide to help break the stigma around it.

But this time last year, I felt like I had nothing else I could write about suicide. Especially something that might positively impact someone reading what I had to say since my mum took her own life.

To some extent, I still don’t.

Since reflecting on what I shared for World Suicide Prevention Day last year, I have often questioned if I’m saying the same things repeatedly, oversharing, or, even worse, saying the wrong thing entirely. Especially with a conversation as sensitive as suicide.

It’s still a topic I am often scared to discuss, as mentioning the word alone can easily offend, unsettle, and upset many. I include myself in the latter.

Where to start?

However, since sharing my story, I’ve been grateful to those that have entrusted me with their own experiences or reached out to continue this conversation.

One common theme that continues to come up is not knowing where to start or being afraid to ask someone how they really are; for the fear that you will not have an answer to their response.

Listen to understand, not to respond.

What am I getting at with this?

Basically, don’t be afraid to start a conversation about suicide. You don’t need to have the answers or the solutions to their problems. You just need to be there.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask twice; double-check with a friend that they really are okay.

If from that conversation you are worried about someone. Then there are plenty of resources online to help signpost someone relevant to your situation.

What can we do?

So, as with last year, it may have been easier for me not to say anything at all today, and it may be difficult for you to read some of this.

But as we continue to have this conversation, I hope that it makes it that little bit easier for someone to talk about suicide that needs to.

Now it’s your turn. Is there someone in your life that you need to double-check with?

Thank you. 💙

In just a couple of weeks, I will be running the Berlin Marathon and would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Hull & East Yorkshire (HEY) Mind to support the vital work they are doing in my home region.

If you want to read more about my story, find out what I’ll be up to, or donate to HEY Mind, then please go to the donation page here.

Happy Birthday Mum. 💙