A 24-hour ‘Tweetathon’ will take place tomorrow, September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day – to raise awareness of suicide prevention.
Dr Alys Cole-King, a liaison psychiatrist and specialist in suicide prevention, has pledged to tweet around the clock to raise awareness about suicide prevention, starting 8am on September 10 and finishing 24 hours later. Dr Cole-King is co-founder of Connecting With People, a not-for-profit organisation that provides suicide awareness and prevention training to professionals across a range of healthcare specialities, and a spokesperson on suicide and self-harm for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
During the Tweetathon, Dr Cole-King will also launch the #connectingwith campaign to highlight how strong relationships, being connected with people and communities, and a sense of belonging are powerful protective factors against suicide.
There will be several themes around the #connectingwith campaign, including sharing stories of special connections with others, sharing research, tips to connect with people in distress, and how to make time for relationships in a busy life.
Dr Cole-King will be joined by hundreds of people and healthcare organisations who will be tweeting about the importance of suicide prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day.
“Strong relationships and a sense of belonging are not only desirable, but vital to emotional wellbeing,” said Dr Cole-King. “People with positive wellbeing and a good support system are likely to have fewer health problems.
“Reaching out to those who have become disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship may be a life-saving act. This is especially relevant to people who are isolated and in distress.
“I hope the #connectingwith campaign will raise awareness that strong relationships, connectedness and a sense of belonging are powerful protective factors against suicide.”
Showing your support
If you would like to show support for the Tweetathon you can:
• Download the #ConnectingWith certificate which will be available on the Connecting With People website on the day
• Fill in the names of the people who are connecting
• Hold the completed #ConnectingWith certificate while you pose for a photo or take a selfie
• Share the photo via social media using the hashtag #Connectingwith