Professor Green’s BBC 3 documentary “Suicide and Me” is bringing a lot of much needed media attention to the prevalence of suicide.
The rapper, who won best Dance Floorfiller in the NME awards 2011, father committed suicide seven years ago.
He sates a humble ambition: “I would like to highlight the severity of the situation and bit by bit remove the taboo that surrounds it.” The hour of footage is extremely personal. Green is sacrificing his privacy for public awareness.
The situation is undoubtedly severe. Between 5000-6000 people commit suicide in the UK each year. That’s more than double the number of people that die in all road traffic accidents, which is under 2000. The vast majority are men, many of them young men.
A study looking at medical records, diaries and testimonies from friends and family has demonstrated 90% of people who commit suicide are suffering from a classifiable psychiatric disorder. But it is important to remember 1 in 4 people will fall victim to mental illness at some point this year so only a tiny fraction of those people will take their own life.
But the shocking regularity of suicide does suggest a lot more needs to be done to support those suffering from mental health issues.
Figures released on Friday by Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) showed a 9.8% increase in the number of detentions under the mental act since 2014. Detention under the mental health act is an emergency intervention and only used when people are extremely unwell.
The charity Mind reacted to the figures by saying “people are not getting help for their mental health problems early enough, meaning they become more unwell and more likely to reach crisis point”.
Arguably suicide is the action of someone who has gone beyond crisis point. These statistics suggest that mental health services are being spread thinner and less equipped to deal with this epidemic. But it’s only through discussing this difficult topic that we can hope to raise awareness and financial support.
If you feel you need someone to talk with the Samaritans are always happy to listen. They provide a 24 hour, free and confidential service:
Call 116 123