Creating hope through action
10th September each year marks World Suicide Prevention Day, which aims to focus attention, reduce stigma and raise awareness – giving a singular message that suicides are preventable.
The theme for 2023 is ‘creating hope through action’, and we aimed to do just that through our community event open to all in Newham.
The day started off with a relaxed and inviting coffee morning, with lots of lovely treats, drinks and activities. It provided an important yet informal opportunity to socialise and build connections with others in our community, have meaningful discussions about our purpose and hopes, and a chance to add thoughts to our Feelings Tree.
The afternoon saw a guided painting session, outside in our sunny courtyard, where community members were invited to unlock their creative side. The theme of the session was sunflowers – always facing the sun, sunflowers are often associated with positivity, happiness and optimism.
“I want to be a sunflower. So that even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the sunlight.”
On the day, we were joined by some of our wonderful partners and supporters – including Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham, Public Health representatives, Newham Talking Therapies as well as the Newham Crisis team, all of whom provided support and advice.
A team of five from Mitie Security Team volunteered to help ensure the day ran smoothly, and they had an opportunity to experience our work first hand and see the impact made locally in the community where they work.
"I wasn’t feeling good the morning of the event, but after getting involved my mood changed – attending gave me good energy. I especially loved the guided painting. - Shanel"
Sadly, people experiencing homelessness are at a higher risk of ending their lives by suicide than the wider population. We recognise how challenging and unsettling not having a safe place to call home can be, and the importance of being able to access the right support at that time.
That’s why continual support, and events such as these, are so important to ensure that those in our services know that there are safe spaces to have essential conversations about mental health, and that help is available. We work directly with residents to improve mental health and wellbeing, raise awareness of available support services and make referrals to them where appropriate too.
With thanks to the London Borough of Newham for funding this important event.