Research suggests that most people who attempt to take their own lives do not want to die, they simply want to escape the intense mental or physical pain they are suffering. We support all research which suggests that most suicides are therefore, preventable.
It is our mission to be at the forefront of the advancement of health and the saving of lives for the public benefit; specifically the advancement of mental health and preventing lives being lost to suicide.
Our actions are specifically aimed at benefitting the general public and those more directly impacted by mental health challenges and suicide, by providing relevant information, advice, awareness-raising, education, and support to help move the UK to a society where suicide prevention is more openly discussed and deaths by suicide are rare events.
We aim to continually promote the public benefits of advancing mental health and suicide prevention approaches; developing, collating and sharing ‘what works’ with the general public and those groups, organisations, institutions and individuals who are able to help save lives.
We will always encourage high ambition in preventing suicides and promote strategies and actions that can significantly reduce the numbers of deaths by suicide in the UK. We will also challenge those groups, organisations and bodies who appear to be setting low ambition targets.
We will design and run events, conferences, workshops, awareness-raising campaigns, educational talks, etc for public benefit with the charitable purpose of advancing mental health and saving lives.
We understand the importance of engaging with the latest research and will therefore, commission, carry out and disseminate research that can assist in advancing mental health and suicide prevention.
The Jordan Legacy will look to provide grants to individuals and organisations engaged in public benefit activities to advance mental health and save lives.
And, finally, we understand that many of those who engage with us may be struggling with their mental health or suicidal thoughts. We will safeguard these individuals by providing direct support, where appropriate, with non-clinical coaching and social support, along with signposting and partnering with relevant professionals and clinical specialists.
The problem and our challenge
Globally, more people die by suicide every year than from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. 2019 World Health Organisation (WHO) data counted more than 800,000 suicide deaths (one every 40 seconds). There are many more suicide attempts (20 times the number of deaths typically) and many family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc traumatised by each death, especially as it often comes as shock news. Each suicide impacts a further 135 people.
The reasons people choose to end their lives are often complex and varied. There is often no-one single contributing factor which causes someone to take this most drastic of actions. What we do know is that many who make suicide attempts do so without letting anyone close to them know they’re considering taking their own life.
We must all be aware of the signs, in ourselves and others, and better understand how to take action to save lives – through early identification, early intervention, suicide prevention initiatives, ‘postvention’ support for those experiencing loss, and positive promotion of optimal mental health.
We can envisage an achievable desired state where deaths by suicide are rare events. It’s a huge challenge and a big goal but achievable through prioritised, focused, practical actions:
- practical actions to make our communities and workplaces mentally healthy and psychologically safe places;
- practical actions to use human intelligence and digital technology for earlier identification and intervention;
- practical actions for suicide prevention such as ‘designing out suicide’ in our built environment, education systems, health systems, and support systems for those known to be at risk or in danger (including restricting access to the means of suicide – known to be the most effective practical action to save lives);
- practical actions to encourage every hospital, university, council, employer, industry association, professional society, etc to make practical plans for suicide prevention within their spheres of influence.
The act of suicide is a practical act – it needs practical actions to prevent it.
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