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Take a minute, change a life

World Suicide Prevention Day is on Sunday 10 September 2017 and the theme this year is ‘Take a minute, change a life’.  

Every year, more than 800,000 people worldwide take their own life and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt.  A recent study commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that nearly two in three people in Britain have faced mental health issues. Offering a listening ear can make all the difference.  

Hertfordshire resident Robert Stringer tragically lost his son Hector when he took his own life at the age of 18. Hector had everything ahead of him; he was in a band, was surrounded by lots of friends and had a very supportive family.

Robert said: “Young people’s mental health is, sadly, still a taboo subject.  I’m very open about what happened to our son Hector, so I find people open up to me. And it’s amazing just how many families who have a child experiencing mental health problems still try to pretend that nothing is wrong.” 

He added that it is really important to recognise the warning signs of mental distress among young people and to reach out to them before it is too late.

“They get to a point where they feel that everyone would be better off without them. It is absolutely vital that we give young people the support they need so that they don’t reach this one moment where they make the wrong decision.”

Everyone has the chance to help and reach out to someone asking: "Are you OK?"

If you're worried about a friend, there's more advice here or you can visit or call 116 123.