How is RECOVERY Assistance Dogs helping already to prevent suicides? Dogs can be the best 'listeners' in this silent realtionship that is so peaceful and powerful. It is the companionship that dogs bring us that helps us to keep stable and focused on the moment. Milli (Golden Cocker, RAD Dog) has just won a PDSA Commendation for Animal Devotion Award for saving her Owner's life & preventing suicide. Help us do more by Funding our SOS (Survivors of Suicide) Project.
We need to make our world a Suicide Safer place. Our vision at RECOVERY Assistance Dogs is to help create a community that has ‘sustainable, co- ordinated and collaborative approaches to suicide awareness, prevention & intervention’ (York City Council's commitment to making York a ‘Suicide Safer City’.)
Firstly, we need to improve our understanding of suicide and begin to get alongside those whose lives have become unliveable. Here are some truths:
• In the UK someone takes their life every 90 mins.
• Females take lives as much as males but males are more successful as the way they do it is more traumatic.
• After a Sudden death - fight or flight mode for family members is challenging to deal with.
• People in crisis just need you to be here with them & listen to find out the story.
• If you're experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support, text to social Media can help by alerting people to how you are feeling.
Liz Maitland, a Founder of RAD says “I am so glad now that I survived my suicide attempts. I have such peace and love in my life now. Christmas used to be my worst time now it’s my best. My RAD Dog & my Christian faith have helped to transform my life. Although I will not get over it I did get through it and recover. You can too and it will be worth it.”
Some things that we can do, with the help of your funding, at the SOS Project to help yourself or others:
• Do the Training ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ www.zerosuicidealliance.com
• Do some Suicide Safety Planning - www.stayingsafe.net • Remember to EAT/MOVE/ LOVE - join the movement on hectorshouse.org.uk/eat-move- love
• Raise Awareness & Help someone feeling suicidal by doing the Assist/Safe talk thcepn.com/suicide-prevention
• Stop using the term ‘commit’.
• Take people from a hot crisis to a cool calm by staying close, getting them a RECOVERY Support Worker and training their dog to help.
* Train your dog to know how to comfort you by touching you, Deep Pressure Therapy and alert others with a bark on cue. Find out more at www.RECOVERYAssistanceDogs.org.uk
Finally, suicide prevention must be a priority. As Andy Chapman, Suicide Prevention, York, says “while suicide and Mental Health is hidden and stigmatised people will continue to take their lives”.
SOS Project will share empathy so that people can learn from lived experience as we need something powerful so that the penny drops. At RAD we will be starting a new Project SOS (Survivors of Suicide) looking at and learning from:
• Suicidal Thoughts • Suicidal Attempts • Suicidal Death
through Dog & Suicide Training, spreading awareness, doing Therapeutic Groups and Fundraising.
Some last words from Sally Brampton (1955-2016) “We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive.”
We pledge with the money raised that we will help people to survive suicide and stop attempting it atall.